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Midvale proposes 15 percent property tax increase, layoffs to balance budget

MIDVALE (Deseret News) — This "city in the middle of everything" also is in the middle of a perfect budgetary storm.

Sales taxes are projected to be down by about $3 million from 2009, and with other revenues following the same trend, the city administration has proposed a 15 percent property tax increase for the 2010-11 budget year, which starts July 1.

That amounts to an increase of $26 per year on the average Midvale home and $1,000 more per businesses worth about $1 million, said longtime Mayor JoAnn Seghini.

"Employees are doing everything they can, but we're asking the community to do a little," Seghini said. "We're out of money. … We even cut out the fireworks for Harvest Days."

The city of about 28,000 is in dire straits, although building permits are at an all-time high, according to city finance director Laurie Harvey. The fees for new construction in what was a contaminated Superfund site only amount to about $425,000, and the city does not charge impact fees to developers, Harvey said.

In addition to the proposed tax increase, the city has laid off seven employees, including three police officers and a firefighter. City officials also are asking employees to pay any increases in their insurance costs — about 10 percent of the total.

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