At a Sept. 8 meeting, the Jordan City Council approved a preliminary tax levy that will result in a slightly lower tax rate for residents in the coming year.
Each September the council discusses and sets a preliminary levy that limits how much the final levy can be when it’s approved in December. Taxpayers will have a chance to voice any concerns about the changes to the council in November, before the final levy is approved, taking effect Jan. 1, 2021.
City Administrator Tom Nikunen said the council went into the process with a goal of not increasing the tax rate and limiting new debt.
While the proposed levy will increase city funds in the coming fiscal year, it will be spread out over more taxpayers, Nikunen said. Within the last year, 36 new single-family homes have come to Jordan. In addition to new households, commercial growth within the past few years has contributed to a 10.3% increase in tax capacity, or about $12-15 million.
In addition to the increase in taxpayers, several projects that fell under the Capital Improvement Project budget were reprioritized this year, allowing for more flexibility in city funds. Overall, the proposed levy would result in a .007% decrease in the tax rate for residents, from 73.150% to 73.143%, said Finance Director Maurey Schaefer.
There are multiple parts to the levy. First is the general operating levy, which includes a proposed increase of $4 million to the general fund and $41,500 to the COPS Grant. Second, the special levy covers the city’s portion of tax abatements for local businesses (around $43,000) and $1 million in debt service. The preliminary levy comes to a total of around $5.2 million.
Due to current economic conditions, Nikunen said the state wants to be as conservative with state funding as they can. The city receives a certain amount of aid from the state each year, around $400,000. This year, they budgeted for about half of that.
“Even with reducing our dependence on that, we’re still able to not raise taxes,” said Nikunen.
Should the city receive more than budgeted, the extra funds would go toward improving the city’s bond rating.
“We’re doing everything we can to prepare ourselves to be strong financially,” Nikunen said.