During a Tuesday afternoon public hearing several Logan citizens – including two candidates for the Municipal Council – spoke out against a property tax increase. In the meeting which followed, the council voted unanimously for a 4.4 percent increase.City Finance Director Rich Anderson said the increase will keep pace with inflation and avoid a large property tax hike in the future.”In 2003 Logan was in a financial crisis,” said Anderson. “We had negative cash balances, our bonds had been downgraded, so it was costing us more to operate the city.”It was decided then to address property taxes on a regular basis, as we do now, instead of dealing with large increases every few years.”Anderson said the tax increase needed last year was just a half of one percent. The new tax increase will mean an increase of $9.91 on a home valued at $189,000.Anderson estimates the increase will generate $102,000 and he said “…every penny of it will go to transportation,” to be used by the city streets department for projects like raising manhole covers.”We recognize no one likes tax increases,” said Anderson, “but we all appreciate the streets plowed in the winter and quick response on 911 calls, some of the services these taxes pay for.”Anderson said Logan City didn’t wait for the financial crisis of 2008-09, but acted responsibly with the 2003 decision and other measures.”The last four years Mayor Watts has been proactive in making gradual changes.” said Anderson, “to make the city as efficient as possible. We aren’t perfect but under the direction of the Mayor and city council we try hard to be as efficient as we can.”Anderson said next year he expects inflation to be flat or in negative ground allowing the city a different approach in next year’s funding approach.With funds tight, city employees have received no raises, no new capital projects are under way and Anderson said the city has been forced to go to a high deductible on employees’ health coverage.
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