Skip to main content

The City Journals

Midvale City Budget: Increases And Continuation With Unified Police

Jun 13, 2019 04:15PM ● By Erin Dixon

Midvale City adopted their fiscal year budget in June, planning for increases in some spending, paring down other expenditures to compensate. (Photo/Midvale City)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

Every city is required to complete their yearly fiscal budget in June.

While budgets are lengthy and sometimes confusing, one thing is clear — increases happen. What do higher numbers mean? Does it mean mismanagement or the effects of economic inflation?

In May and June, Midvale City heads proposed their budgets for the coming fiscal year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020). City Manager Kane Loader outlined some rising costs within his budget. Lobbying contracts increased by $4,000. General administration benefits increased by $8,700. An additional $5,000 is being given to Community Building Community grants.

Another rising cost in Midvale is for police. As detailed in a previous article, the Unified Police Department asked for more money from the city than the Finance Department had anticipated. City Council has decided to continue with UPD for the time being, and will need to pay the increased cost.

With increased spending, how is the city managing to pay without asking for more from the residents?

Bryce Haderlie, assistant city manager, said that, “The city’s not proposing any tax increases, we will absorb those extra expenses by deferring projects or dipping somewhat into our fund balance.”

One of the decreases that may happen to compensate for increased police funding is the slashing of a $200,000 contribution for a city pool. 

As of June 30, 2018, the city had a general fund balance of $3,860,000, 19 percent of general fund revenue. Total anticipated expenses for Midvale City for fiscal year 2019-20 is $34,541,350 (this does not include Municipal Building or Redevelopment Agency money)

Haderlie said there are other ways that a city can continue to function and pay increasing costs without asking residents for more. 

“One of the benefits that we have is we have sales tax that continue to increase in a good economy, we’ve been very fortunate with that. We also have growth within the city with property taxes.”

Public Information Officer Laura Magness, further explained that the city has other revenue than just property tax that helps offset increasing costs. “It’s amazing how much Jordan Bluffs and Bingham Junction help the residents save money on their property taxes. (Through) all the retail we get sales tax.”

Heidi Miller came to the city council meeting on June 4, in anticipation of a property tax increase. Following the meeting she said, “I think the budget’s OK. I hate that we have to pull from other sources to match it, but maybe it won’t be as bad next year. But if it is, we’ll just have to reevaluate it all.”

As for tax increases in the future, time will tell. 

Haderlie said, “If the trend continues to climb the way that it is...you can continue to cut back your expenses...you can continue to use fund balance, or you may have to look at property taxes.”

On an individual homeowner tax bill, only a small percentage actually goes to the city. There are other entities that issue taxes, such as schools, mosquito abatement and fire. 

Haderlie explained that even if the city does raise taxes, the percentage that an owner pays to the city is so small that an increase may be barely noticeable on a bill. 

“We get 8 percent of property tax. Let’s say you own a $300,000 home. You pay a $2,800 tax bill. $247 goes to the city.”

Magness added, “Say that we do have to increase taxes. If we have to increase taxes, and we increase it by 20 percent, that’s 40 bucks a year.”