Local News

No New Taxes in Corroon’s Budget, but Auditor Threatens Lawsuit

In addition to a six-percent budget cut to fill a $17 million hole, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon’s 2012 budget proposal shifts property taxes to the Unified Police Department, thereby eliminating an unpopular police fee without raising taxes. And that’s good news to Sheriff Jim Winder, who says unincorporated county residents were getting tired of being told their taxes were going to be increased or they wouldn’t see fire and police.

(KCPW News) In addition to a six-percent budget cut to fill a $17 million hole, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon’s 2012 budget proposal shifts property taxes to the Unified Police Department, thereby eliminating an unpopular police fee without raising taxes. And that’s good news to Sheriff Jim Winder, who says unincorporated county residents were getting tired of being told their taxes were going to be increased or they wouldn’t see fire and police.

“After those taxes are raised there’s no guarantee those monies do go to fire and police and often they don’t,” he says. “In this mechanism, when people are told their property taxes for law enforcement are going to be raised, they can guarantee that every dollar goes to police. That is a very progressive and very appropriate mechanism.”

Winder says it provides law enforcement a very stable but finite source of funding. In order to provide any increases in law enforcement, the UPD will now have to go directly to the public and hold a truth-in-taxation hearing.

Mayor Corroon says the UPD will now be separate financially from the county.

“They will have their own funding source. And then the public works, the snowplowing, the curb and gutter, the roads will be paid for using sales tax. It’s coming back slowly. And we think in the future it will continue to rise as we have this economy slowly coming back,” he says.

Meanwhile, another part of Corroon’s budget plan is courting controversy. The mayor is proposing to shift budgeting and accounting functions from the County Auditor’s Office to his own. In a statement, Auditor Gregory Hawkins said he is prepared to sue if that happens, saying the move would cause the county to lose its AAA-bond rating.

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