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Sugar House Journal

City Journals poll shows surprising support for property tax increases

Jun 25, 2019 15h22 ● By Justin Adams

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

The City Journals recently ran an informal poll on our Facebook page asking people if they would support their city raising property taxes by $100 a year if it meant that the city could give a raise to its police officers and firefighters. The results (which are not scientific and not representative of Salt Lake County) were surprising.

Three out of every four respondents said they would support such a tax increase in their city. The results go against standard assumptions about Utahan’s stance towards tax increases. For years, cities have opted to forego property tax increases because of the fear of residents showing up with torches and pitchforks, only reluctantly going through the “Truth in Taxation” process when absolutely necessary. 

The city of Sandy will be going through the Truth in Taxation process, as its City Council voted to raise residents’ property taxes by 34%. During the meeting in which the council made that decision, there were six public comments. All but one were in support of the tax increase. 

Both those comments and our poll results suggest that perhaps Utahans are amenable to marginal tax increases, as long as the taxing entity can effectively make the case that it is necessary for important services like public safety or education.

Follow the City Journals on Facebook to participate in future polls.