Davis County Budget Hearing
During the Budget Hearing for the 2006 Davis County Budget, Ronald Mortensen, co-founder of CitizensForTaxFairness.org called on county commissioners to hold the line on taxes. Mr. Mortensen’s statement follows.
I appreciate the fact that the Commissioners and County Clerk/Auditor Rawlings have been able to fund this year’s budget without any tax increase even though the addition to the jail will be coming on line in the near future.
I would note, however, that this year is an election year and that Commissioners Page and McConkie will have to run for reelection if they wish to continue on the Commission.
And, I seem to remember that a number of years ago, there was no tax increase in the budget adopted for the year in which the election was held.
In spite of that, the newly elected commissioners proposed a 138% tax increase the very next year.
That, of course, led to a citizens’ revolt and a tax increase of 24%.
It also led to the defeat of Commissioner Cragun at the Republican County Convention.
Since that time, Commissioners have voted to put proposals to increase taxes on the ballot at least three times – the jail bond and operations taxes, the RAP tax, and the South Davis Recreation District bond and operations taxes.
In addition, Commissioner Page was a key supporter of the open spaces tax initiative that was resoundingly defeated by the voters.
Commissioner McConkie and Clerk/Auditor Rawlings both sit on the board of the South Davis Recreation District which recently imposed a tax that was up to 47% higher than “advertised” bu Bountiful City Officials prior to the bond election.
Recently the Standard Examiner reported that certain Commissioners have indicated support for putting a RAP tax on a future ballot in spite of the fact that it was soundly defeated by the voters in 2004.
Therefore, while it is gratifying that the Commission has found a way to avoid increasing taxes to operate the jail this year, I am led to ask:
Was it done simply in order to avoid having a $35 dollar tax increase for the average home show up on tax notices that will come out just weeks before the 2006 elections?
And are Commissioners committed to opposing future tax increases throughout the county?
Unfortunately, based on the budget documents presented tonight, citizens will see a $35 tax increase in the 2007 budget in order to fund jail operations. And, it is likely that commissioners will vote to put other tax measures on future ballots.
Again, I appreciate your work on this year’s budget and the fact that there is no tax increase in it.
Hopefully, at this time next year, we will be looking at another budget that does not require a $35 increase because Commissioners will have found a way to cover all or at least a good portion of the jail’s operating costs from current revenues and budget savings