SALT LAKE COUNTY

Why water property taxes are going up in Salt Lake City and Sandy

May 29, 2024, 6:28 AM | Updated: 6:28 am

water infrastructure improvements...

Salt Lake City and Sandy approved property tax increases this month to help the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City and Sandy pay for projects, including improvements to the Deer Creek Dam — a vital source of water to both cities. (Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Property taxes in two Salt Lake County cities are increasing to meet a growing need for water infrastructure improvements.

Salt Lake City leaders have approved the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City and Sandy recommendation to increase property tax collection from 0.00020% to 0.00035%. Sandy leaders approved a similar tax increase on May 7.

“We need to put the investment where it needs to be and this will keep our water safe for future generations,” said Salt Lake City Councilman Alejandro Puy, before the City Council’s vote on May 21.

The Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City and Sandy is the wholesale water provider for both cities. Per its website, nearly half of its funds come from water sales, while property tax and assessments account for the rest.

Annalee Munsey, the district’s general manager, explained there’s now “critical aging infrastructure” and other infrastructure needs that require additional funding. This includes four major projects within the district:

  • Required seismic adjustments and other improvements to the aging Salt Lake aqueduct.
  • Required intake adjustments to the Deer Creek Dam. While located in Provo Canyon, about 80% of the reservoir’s “water portfolio” is directed to the Salt Lake Valley. That equates to about 85,000 acre-feet of water, annually.
  • Improvements to the aging water infrastructure in Salt Lake City’s Northwest Quadrant.
  • Costs associated with the district’s investment in Central Utah Project water.

The board approved a 3% water rate increase on top of the suggested property tax changes to address these needs.

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Why water property taxes are going up in Salt Lake City and Sandy