Orem planning property tax hike for police

May 1, 2019, 8:14 AM
Orem police tax hike...
Spring sunset above Orem, Utah. Photo: Getty Images

OREM — The city of Orem is moving ahead with a proposal for a property tax hike to pay for more police officers. They say a survey showed support for it.

Screenshot from Orem City Council presentation

Orem police officer Thomas Cook says they have more demands and more calls per officer now.

“Every shift, we, in some form or capacity, feel spread thin,” he said.

“A lot of officers are actually leaving in order to go to other departments that will pay even the same amount, but they have less of a caseload,” said Orem Police Chief Gary Giles.

It’s often mental health calls they are responding to.

“You see that in schools, in your families — mental health has become a larger problem and concern in society,” said Deputy City Manager Steven Downs.

Downs says the city council did not feel like they could fund new officers without a tax hike and wanted to see what residents thought first by asking them in a scientific survey over the course of several weeks.

“There’s a reason it hasn’t been raised for 41 years, and that’s because it’s a very very difficult topic,” said Downs.

“We gave three scenarios: hiring 2 additional officers, 3 additional officers, or 4 additional officers. Basically what it ends up being is a quarter per cop, per month,” he said.

The survey results showed:

More than half of the residents support the potential tax increase regardless of the dollar amount proposed. The proposal to add two new officers for approximately $6 per year is slightly more popular than the larger proposals, but overall support levels are high even at the highest household impact amount (approximately $13 for four new officers).

It looks like Orem will prepare a budget that would fund 4 new officers. They’ll bring that budget back in mid-May. Then state law requires a truth-in-taxation hearing, most likely in August, before the final passage of a tax increase.

Orem City Council presentation

Orem City Council presentation


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
18 hours ago
Lehi City officials have closed a portion of westbound 1500 North to repair a large sinkhole. On it...
Simone Seikaly

Large sinkhole shuts down portion of westbound 1500 North in Lehi

Lehi City officials said the sinkhole formed on 1500 North due to a water leak.
18 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Lindsay Aerts

Utah House votes to pass transgender-related surgery ban

The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses the treatment of hormone blockers.
18 hours ago
Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, l...
Simone Seikaly

Suspects in custody, lockdown lifted after shots fired at Taylorsville High

Shots were reportedly fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School on Thursday afternoon, leading to lockdown and lockout procedures.
18 hours ago
A herd of elk was crossing lanes of westbound I-80 in Salt Lake City on Thursday....
Elizabeth Weiler

Wildlife officials, troopers, maneuver large herd of elk away from I-80

The animals had moved down the mountain looking for food according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
18 hours ago
A new service called Cottonwood Connect could address parking problems at the ski resorts in Big an...
Kate Davis and Simone Seikaly

Cottonwood Connect offers a new way to get up Cottonwood Canyons

The goal is to fill gaps left when UTA limited ski bus service. The shuttle will run Thursday through Sunday through mid-April.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Orem planning property tax hike for police