Headlines Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Fair kicks off with benefit concert
Fans enjoy the show as Due West performs at the Golden Spike Arena during the County Fair kick off concert which took place on Saturday, August 22.
How do Box Elder County property taxes stack up?
by Nelson Phillips
With controversy still simmering over recent property tax hikes by the Box Elder County School District and Willard City, The Box Elder News Journal decided to see how municipal, county and school district rates compare to each other, and how they compare against select neighboring communities as well.
Certified tax rates for taxing entities are calculated by each county, and are based on an assessment of property values in a given tax area. The rate is set to provide the taxing entity essentially the same amount of money as it received the prior year, plus added growth within the entity’s tax base. Residential property taxes are calculated by taking the assessed value placed on a given property by the county assessor, subtracting 45 percent of that if the home is a primary residence, and multiplying the result by the certified tax rate set for the taxing entity. Commercial property and secondary residences are taxed for the full value.
Increases in the certified tax rate automatically happen when property values drop, and a higher percentage is calculated to match the prior year’s obligations. Inflation is not factored into the tax rate, and so over time taxing entities lose buying power as the cost of goods and services rise. For example, in 2015 it would cost $122,198.67 to purchase the same amount of goods or services that $100,000 did in 2005, according to the U.S. Consumer Price Index.
If a community or district feels that the money it will receive based on the certified tax rate won’t be enough to fund its wants or obligations, it can vote to increase the tax rate (up to a maximum for each entity type as established by the state legislature). This year both Willard City and the Box Elder School District voted to raise their tax rates.
Before running the actual numbers, it was expected that the larger cities in the county would have the highest rates, as they have more infrastructure to build and maintain, and they provide the most services to residents. While this expectation held true for the smallest townships around the county, which had the lowest property taxes, surprisingly we found that some of the smaller cities had the highest tax rates, and that the largest city had a comparatively lower rate.
Brigham City council addresses election, Peach Days at meeting
By Nelson Phillips
At their Thursday meeting, the Brigham City Council announced the official canvas for the Aug. 11 municipal primary elections, and discussed the state of Peach Days preparations.
All three sitting council members who ran in the primary easily won their place on the November ballot, with Mark Thompson receiving nearly 23 percent of the vote, Ruth Jensen getting 19.4 percent and Alden Farr getting nearly 19 percent. They will face challengers Becky Maddox, who received 12.3 percent; Stephen Child with nearly 10 percent; and Nini Anderson with 9.6 percent. Challenger Lee Johnson was eliminated from the contest, with 7.2 percent of the vote.
Although happy to have made it through the primary and grateful for the support she received, Councilmember Ruth Jensen lamented the low voter turnout in the city.
County Commission approves weed contract at brief meeting
In a half hour meeting on Wednesday, the Box Elder County Commission approved a contract to provide weed control for state lands.
The weed control contract is a cooperative agreement between the county, the Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands (FFSL) and the Northern Utah Conservation District.
“This will bring on the county to do some of the actual treatment of the weeds” on state and conservation district lands, said Clint Hill from the Box Elder Conservation District. “The Forestry Fire and State Lands will provide the funds and the means of doing it, the Conservation District will coordinate it, and the county can just come in and spray, not having to deal with a lot of the other sides of the whole thing.”
The contract states that FFSL will reimburse the county up to $10,000 for its invoiced costs spraying weeds during the 2016 fiscal year. With no further discussion, the commission approved the contract.