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Midvale Journal

Waste collection fees, taxes may be rising in Midvale

Jun 22, 2020 11:30AM ● By Erin Dixon

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

Midvale City officials and staff are recommending a tax increase this year. The City will hold a Truth in Taxation meeting (a public hearing open to all residents) on Aug. 11. 

Residents will not see a tax increase on their bills if the City Council approves the rate increase. If the rate increase is not approved, resident’s Midvale portion of their tax bill will reduce about $32. 

The tax increase is not asking for additional funds, but is filling a gap that is now open after debts were paid off by the city. 

Laura Magness, public information officer for Midvale, said that, “Staff proposes increasing the revenue generated by the Certified Tax Rate by $403,295. This is the amount of revenue the City previously received for debt service on the Public Safety General Obligation Bonds. This revenue will be used to fund the proposed UPD (Unified Police Department) Member Assessment Increase ($250,000) and debt service on the Municipal Building Authority Bonds ($676,406).” 

“It’s important to note that everything is final until (Truth in Taxation hearing in August),” Magness said. 

Because Midvale paid off a bond for the UPD building, the tax increase will collect nearly the same amount of money.

A resident’s tax bill is divided among several tax collecting entities. Canyons School District, Salt Lake County Library and South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District are just some of the tax collectors. As an example, if $2,529 is paid per year, per household, Midvale City only receives about $200 of that sum. 

Why does Midvale even need to raise taxes? Why doesn’t new building and higher property values bring more money to the city?

Kyle Maurer, administrative services director for Midvale explained: “How the rate is calculated is the county takes our previous year property tax revenue and then adds any new growth. When an assessed value goes up, when we’re in a period where home values go up for example, the tax rate goes down because we’re still receiving that same amount of money,” Maurer said. 

“I’m sure we all remember in 2008 with the downturn of the housing market. The overall tax rate went up to keep us up with the same amount of revenue.”

Waste Collection Fee Increase

Trans-Jordan Landfill, where all Midvale’s garbage is dumped, has raised the cost for every truck that dumps trash. Ace Disposal that picks up the trash is also raising its rate for collection.

This means the cost per trash can will increase for every resident. 

The increase on one waste and one recycling can will be $1.29 per month, which ends up to be about $15.50 more per year, per house.

Costs for trash collection and dumping have been rising for several years. Part of the issue is the landfill is slowly reaching capacity. When it is full, trash will be hauled to a Utah County landfill. 

Community Outreach for Trans-Jordan Landfill Jill Fletcher said, “Our physical landfill location has between 10-12 years until full capacity. Between now and then we will build a transfer station.”

“The waste will then be delivered to a transfer station where it will be processed and loaded into large hauling trucks. The waste will be taken to the Bayview Landfill in Utah County,” Fletcher said.

Trans-Jordan will also be making changes to the green waste program in the future.

“With green waste ceasing at Trans-Jordan in the near future we are proposing to eliminate the green waste dumpster program,” Maurer said. 

Councilmember Dustin Gettel was concerned that residents would no longer have a place to put their lawn clippings, tree trimmings and other organic waste.

“What would our residents do with their green waste?” Gettel asked.

Mixing green waste with other garbage produces methane gas, which can then be turned into energy. 

“Methane gas is a natural process that happens when waste decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen). …[W]e have installed a collection system to collect the methane gas before it enters the atmosphere. [It is] collected and passed to three onsite generators that convert the methane into energy,” Fletcher said.  

“Currently, we are generating 4.5 megawatts of renewable energy,” Fletcher said. “That is equivalent to generating 4,500 homes with electricity.”