Salt Lake City

City Council

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Metropolitan Water District Property Tax Increase Proposal

Introduction

The Council recently approved a resolution allowing the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City & Sandy (the District) to raise its portion of property taxes. The tax increase was considered necessary to keep up critical water infrastructure that treats and delivers water to residents.  

Background

The Salt Lake Valley faced a severe drought in 1935, which led to the creation of the District. Its primary objective was to manage and treat water from different sources within and outside the valley. The District is responsible for crucial projects like the Salt Lake Aqueduct, which requires maintenance after being used for over 70 years. 

The District is a separate taxing entity from Salt Lake City. It is one of the taxing entities that appears as a line on property tax bills for Salt Lake City property owners. 

The Council’s role in the District includes reviewing the budget; however, it does not formally adopt it. The Council also appoints five of the District’s seven-member Board of Trustees. 

Approved Tax Increase

The District will increase property taxes from 0.0002 to 0.00035 to pay for infrastructure upgrades and expansion. The District estimates the increase will generate over $8.6 million between Salt Lake City and Sandy. The funding will be used to continue treating and delivering water customers depend on.  

Although the District is a separate entity, each City Council of the member cities, Salt Lake City and Sandy, must approve District property tax increases. 

Now that both City Councils approved the proposal, property taxes on a home valued at $596,000, the average in Salt Lake City, could increase by about $49 per year. 

For additional details and information, please refer to the Project Resources below. 

Why increase property taxes? Can’t the necessary revenue come from water rates? 

The District generates its primary revenue from water sales, property taxes, and other sources. While increasing water rates may seem straightforward, it could impact families relying on a fixed budget.  

Additionally, while higher water rates could encourage water conservation, critical infrastructure upgrades are still needed no matter how much water residents use. 

Meeting Recaps

May 21, 2024 Council Discussion, Public Hearing, & Vote  

The Council held a follow-up briefing and accepted public comment on the District’s proposed property tax increase for Fiscal Year 2024-25. Following the public hearing, the Council voted to approve the proposal.   

May 7, 2024 Council Discussion & Public Hearing 

During its work session meeting, the Council continued discussing the proposed property tax increase. Later, at its formal meeting, the Council held the first of two public hearings on the proposed tax increase. The Council will hold a second public hearing at its Tuesday, May 21, 7 p.m. formal meeting. 

April 2, 2024 Council Discussion 

The Council received a briefing about the District’s proposed property tax increase for Fiscal Year 2024-25. At its May 7 meeting, the Council will hold a public hearing. 

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