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West Valley City Journal

City Council to Adopt Final Budget August 9

Aug 04, 2016 04:26PM ● By Travis Barton

West Valley City Council will adopt the city budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017 on August 9 at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall. West Valley residents are invited to voice their opinion during the public hearing portion of the meeting. –Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

West Valley City, Utah - The City Budget is on the verge of being finalized.

With the tentative budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017 adopted in May by the West Valley City Council, the public hearing where residents can voice their opinion on the budget will be on August 9 at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

The budget can either be found online on the West Valley City’s website or at the City Recorder’s office during office hours located in City Hall.

Wayne Pyle, City Manager, said during a city council meeting on May 3 that creating the budget is a long process.

“It’s, frankly, about eight or nine months of the calendar year in which we are either assessing the old year’s budget, projecting what the new year revenues will be, considering what the next year’s expenditures will be or actually approving and putting in place the new budget,” Pyle said.  

One of the more notable items in the proposed budget will see an eight percent increase in property tax from the previous year.

“It’s based on a set rate, a certain amount of tax will be collected each year based upon court cases and resolution of appeals and sometimes that changes the individual tax amounts and so to keep the same revenue flowing in, we adjust the rates slightly,” Mayor Ron Bigelow said.

The last time West Valley had a residential tax increase was 2011.

Pyle said during a study meeting in May that now is a good time to do it.  

“It could forestall some problems here in the next couple of years. For example, if sales tax did continue to climb up or if we did hit a recession,” Pyle said. “It of course makes sense to do it in smaller increments, in smaller amounts during times which are better like we are now.”

Bigelow said it comes down to a question of reduced services or maintaining revenue through taxes.

“Services don’t come for free, if we don’t have enough money to pay for the services we’re faced with a question of reducing services or increasing revenue,” Bigelow said.

The tentative budget was adopted in May with a 5-2 vote in favor. Councilmembers Tom Huynh and Donald Christensen dissented due to a concern at not having all the line items available to the public as they were made available to the city council at the time.

The additional line items included projections to the proposed budget and Christensen said he thought they should be included for the public to see since they will be under consideration by the council.

Bigelow said since they are items under consideration and not yet proposed with the budget so they should not be included with the resolution.

“It needs to be clear that they’re not adopted and are items for consideration and there’s no guarantee that all of those items will be adopted or that they are the only items adopted in the future,” Bigelow said.

Pyle said budget discussions would be ongoing before final adoption in August.

Part of those ongoing discussions has been recommendations on what to do with an additional $2,877,163 and how much of that goes directly towards public safety versus other departmental needs like adding a few staff members to the Parks and Recreation department. On July 12 it was recommended that $1,772,687 attribute directly to public safety.