You’ve either received or will soon receive a glossy tax increase notice from Bountiful City. They are planning on jacking up your property tax rate. Part of this is thanks to Representative Ray Ward having a voracious appetite for tax increase schemes (like the homeless offset through 2018 SB235 and property tax games). However, this also comes on the heels of:
- Bountiful ramping up power rates and fees (including a new street light fee)
- A state income tax increase on middle class families (thanks, Ray Ward)
- Legislative tax increase incentives/assistance
- The 4000% metro fire tax increase (along with library and county property tax increases)
- Don’t forget the new internet tax Governor Herbert and tax-and-spend Republicans (Ray Ward) want so bad that they’re calling a special session to pass it (note also the 18% crony capital kickback).
There are a few other increases that I think I’m missing but I don’t have time and you get the gist.
City politicians, however, say we have some critical stuff to fund like roads and police. Funny thing is we already have the money but local politicians and special interests don’t want to give up their pet projects. As I said when we faced the 4000% increase for fire service, the money was flushed:
[Politicians] had other big priorities like Recreation Centers, RAP taxes, theaters, plazas* and fun attempts at new city halls, skate parks, museums, art centers, street cars and other crap I don’t remember anymore.
I also missed the forced recycling fee (which Ray Ward lobbied for). It’s garbage…literally. With China calling it quits on recycling junk, we’re literally paying an extra fee for garbage.
No wonder so many city leaders endorsed Ray Ward. Talk about scratching each others’ backs.
Finally, the offensive “Bountiful has 2nd lowest individual tax rate of the 15 Davis County cities” falsehood. It’s total shell game Beeee Essss:
Bountiful uses the city power department to cloak the actual tax/government burden by manipulating rates and fees as an additional revenue stream into the general fund that isn’t subject to truth in taxation. As I’ve demonstrated here and several city politicians (and a former city manager) acknowledge, without the cloaked power tax, actual tax rates would be roughly doubled**.
Go back to the tax chart the city placed on the tax notice. If you double the rate (from 0.000832 to ~0.0016) to account for the transfer from the power company (thus comparing apples-to-apples with other cities), Bountiful ends up in the top 5 highest taxed in Davis county (about tied with Kaysville!).
Why would I get excited about Kaysville? Because Kaysville used to also use it’s municipal power company to manipulate rates and cloak taxes. Citizens figured out the game and forced an end to the practice. The result was Kaysville’s tax rate went up to it’s real (unhidden) level. This near rate match between Bountiful’s adjusted rate and Kaysville’s rate lends more credence that the above doubling is valid.
The open house is at City Hall on July 19 at 6PM and the official public meeting is at City Hall on August 7, 2018 at 7PM. Good luck.
*Addendum: Here’s some irony for you. The city is hiring two workers for their frivolous plaza. Meanwhile, the city is justifying part of the tax increase to hire two new police officers.
**Addendum 2: Another analysis by Ron Mortensen combined the revenue from property tax and the power transfer to calculate the actual rate results in a rate of 0.001361 (pre increase) 0.001448 (post increase) or about equivalent to North Salt Lake (a couple of cities behind Kaysville) and in the middle of the other cities (certainly not second lowest).