PROVO, Utah – Utah County’s 67% property tax increase, passed in 2019, just got smaller. The Utah County Commission voted Wednesday to repeal 25% of the value of that increase.
Short a man after Tanner Ainge’s resignation, commissioners Bill Lee and Tom Sakievich voted for the budget amendment on Wednesday.
The December 2019 increase — at the time, the first property tax increase in 23 years for the county — amounted to $19,312,205. Wednesday’s amendment cut that number down by $4,828,052, according to the commissioners.
Commissioner Bill Lee, in a statement, wrote that “no county employee will lose their job as a result of this tax relief,” and said commissioners accounted for future growth and increased benefits and wages over the next decade.
“The massive property tax increase of 2019 led to some unnecessary bloat in our county government, which is why I opposed that increase,” said Lee, who voted against the increase in 2019.
Lee also said he remains committed to further property tax reductions in Utah County.
Commissioner Tom Sakievich, who was not on the commission when the tax increase was approved, told 2News shortly after his election that undoing the 2019 property tax increase was one of his top priorities.
One hundred ninety-eight thousand voters hired me to reduce the 2020 property tax increase,” Sakievich wrote in a statement on Wednesday. “Today’s discussion completes the first phase of that review where we approved a $4.8M tax reduction. I expect further reductions as we head into the coming weeks with the new commissioner on-board.”
This vote comes shortly after Lee and Sakievich previously voted to assume all budgeting power for the county, moving budget staff from under the Utah County Clerk/Auditor’s Office to under the commission. A week later, after criticism from several state and local officials, the commissioners rescinded that decision.
Since Ainge resigned, the Utah County Republican Party Central Committee will select a candidate to fill his seat. They’re expected to make that decision Saturday.