|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
Page 12 The Ogden Valley news Volume XIV Issue XIV October 1, 2007 REFERENDUM cont. from page 1 Guest Commentaries Girl’s Basketball 5th-9th Grade will begin in midOctober. Call Kathy Allen at 745-2709 to register. (By team if possible) Thinking about a career in Real Estate? Exit Realty Wasatch is now hiring new and experienced agents. Come see what we have to offer! New North Ogden office opening in November and look for an Eden office in 2008! 801-475-8111 HUNTSVILLE 6 BR, 5 BA $679,000 $855,000 4 BR, 4 BA Amazing views of Lake! One acre lot. Over 5,500 sq.ft. Huge 1,800 sq.ft 4 car garage. Vaulted ceilings in basement. 801-941-9415 COREY HADLEY EDEN 180 views of entire Valley from large covered deck. Two master suites. Theater is fully wired. Great Trappers Ridge location! 801-791-4849 DAN MORTENSEN $150,000 EDEN $259,000 $498,000 EDEN 1 BR, 1 BA 2 BR, 2 BA 4 BR, 3 BA Condo is close to Fully furnished Wolf Great views of Wolf Creek. Lodge 2br w/ loft. On nearly an acre of land. clubhouse, pool, hot tubs, and tennis courts. Updated inside. Upstairs All bedrooms are very end unit with access off large. Walkout basement. Updated tile counter tops and floors. Unit is sold main parking level. Oversized 3rd car garage. fully furnished. Views of entire Valley. EDEN 801-791-4849 DAN MORTENSEN 801-791-4849 DAN MORTENSEN 801-791-4849 DAN MORTENSEN BELL COMMENTARY cont. from page 3 Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and California. Although lesser strapped for land, they can surely feel our pain. Nevada has a very similar problem with Utah, but has a powerful political ally in Senator Harry Reid. Our situation, given a state birthrate twice that of Bangladesh, is a situation that can not continue if our grandchildren are to be allowed to live in this state. We need some of our land back into the private sector. We need more political action on proposals like the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act, and we need them where 75% of the population is centered along the Wasatch. Apple amendment or not, we need a “Utah Families Act.” And it should not be a boondoggle for developers—it should be a “boon” for Utah families. We must demand our federal government “vacate” its claims on lands into the private sector, thus enabling our youth to have an affordable place to live. A “little piece of ground” on which to build now is pushing $100,000. Developers can not build even a starter home for less than $300,000. Our children who earn $72,000 a year can not see their way to afford a home and start a family. Put 22% to 700% property tax increases in the blender and there is simply “no way.” Unless we collectively decide Utah should become a ski chalet and sand box for only wealthy non-primary residents, we must act this session. It is already too late for many who are leaving after generations as Utahans. This is simply disgraceful! For more of this speech and more information, visit <feedblitz@mail. feedblitz.com> VALLEY ZONING ISSUES - NEW ORDINANCES – TAX INCREASES Speak up for what you want . . . or Take what you get . . . . Take action today on urgent issues! For information on time sensitive issues facing Ogden Valley residents, your community, and your property, log onto www.Ogden-Valley.blogspot.com Please view on line petitions and add your electronic signature if you agree with VCRD position. Valley Citizens for Responsible Development (VCRD) Mail to: VCRD, P.O. Box 115, Huntsville, UT 84317 VALLEY ZONING ISSUES - NEW ORDINANCES – TAX INCREASES TAX INCREASES –IRRESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT 1% of the home’s assessed value, and can only be raised at a maximum of 2% per year until the property is resold. This system has pros and cons. The pros are that citizens have security in knowing how much their taxes will be raised, and they are not punished for living in an area where assessed values keep rising. The cons are that this system doesn’t always provide enough of a tax base for government so libraries, schools, and fire departments might suffer. Also, over time, neighbors might be paying an unfair difference in property taxes if one buys their home years after the other neighbor has been established at a lower assessed value. A few people recommended that we pay the same as last year’s taxes until everything gets sorted out. We weren’t supposed to clap until the end of the hearing, but I accidentally broke into applause at the sound of that. We sat in a small cluster of Huntsville residents and would sometimes catch each other’s eye as people complained of a 30% or 40% increase. They have every right to be upset about that kind of an increase. A 30% increase is preposterous, so what about our local increases that average over 100%? Utah’s population was not evenly represented at the hearing. Senior citizens were well represented, however, and with good cause. Many of their comments were geared toward the serious problems they face paying increased taxes while living on fixed incomes. At the beginning of the meeting, Chris Poulsen asked for a raise of hands from those who were living on a fixed income, and most of the audience shot their hands up in the air. One senior, Keith Ballas, said that we should initiate “Proposition 65,” which would freeze taxable valuables for those 65 years and older. Bert Hulet, another elderly gentleman, said he’s had ancestry living in Utah since 1847, plus some Native American heritage as well. He said that his dad lost everything he had during the depression because he couldn’t pay the taxes. “This is not sticker shock,” he explained, “This is personal.” Rex and I and a real estate agent were the only representatives under 40 to speak to the committee. I was glad we were there to demonstrate that the tax burden is affecting people of all ages. When Rex addressed the committee, he proposed that they determine a base rate tied to an index consistent with the rate of inflation. This base rate, he said, should be set at the time of the home’s purchase and be established from the sale price (and/or mortgage value) and not the nebulous market value of the home. He also suggested that there be a tax break for those who pay off their mortgage. This would be an incentive for people to become debt free, and would reduce the economic impact of market overinflation and home foreclosures. This would also allow relief for people who only want to enjoy the home that they live in and have no interest in “cashing in” on their supposed “windfall” because of increased home values. I was the last person to speak at the hearing. When I got my turn at the microphone, I brought attention to the fact that I was the seventh person from Ogden Valley to address the committee. (D. Bell, Rex Harris, Richard Creamer, and Jerald Engstrom all from Huntsville, Shanna Francis of Eden, and Ellen Fowers of Liberty had already spoken). I said that this representation from our little Ogden Valley demonstrates the severe tax burden we are carrying. My property taxes, which doubled this year, are ranked only at the 18th percentile in Huntsville, but in the 71st percentile in the county. Obviously, Valley citizens are carrying an unfair burden in the county this year. I also said, “Everyone has the right to a modest home on a modest piece of property. And we have a right to pay a modest tax for that home. A primary residence is not a luxury, but a necessity.” I told the committee that one of the elements our tax policy lacks is predictability. It seems we can be blind sighted with anything; indicated by my many neighbors who have been hit with as much as a 300% increase this past year alone. Yes, I call for predictability in taxation. This predictability can only be achieved by placing a cap on property tax increases. I ended by saying that I didn’t know the exact method to recommend for creating a cap, but I would leave it to them, the legislature, to figure it out and put it in place. The meeting then ended and it was time to go home. We had all done our best to make our voices heard. The decision is now in the hands of our public officials to deliberate and come up with the best solution they can. We eagerly await their decision. TAX INCREASES –IRRESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT HARRIS COMMENTARY cont. from page 3 from IBM as Visual Systems Marketing Manager. His group supported Automotive and Aerospace customers worldwide. Steve received his Bachelors degree from the University of Utah, his Masters degree from Utah State University, and pursued additional graduate studies at New York University and the University of Arizona. At the beginning of the forum, the speakers will each present their positions concerning Referendum 1. The moderator will then read questions previously submitted by each opposing side. Following this, members of the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. Whether or not you have children in school, Referendum 1 is a critically important issue. The Education Voucher Bill will affect how your tax dollars are spent. Please make it a priority to attend the Referendum 1 forum at the Red Moose Lodge on Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. It will help you make an informed decision on November 6. We extend our thanks to Red Moose Lodge for hosting this event; also, to our moderator and our two guest speakers. Please direct any questions you may have to moderator Steve Clarke at sdclarke@oValley. net or call him at 745-1348.