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Park City Council reviews draft budget ahead of June 20 approval

Park City's City Hall.
Parker Malatesta
Park City's City Hall.

The Park City Council is set to review the proposed fiscal year 2025 budget changes and review next year’s proposed pay plan at its meeting this week.

A dozen changes and a few additional requests to next year’s Park City budget will be reviewed by the city council Thursday.

The proposed budget totals just over $66 million – an increase of about $2 million more than the current year’s budget. Revenues from property tax total about $14 million and more than $20 million comes from sales taxes. Other revenues to fund city operations include recreation, special events, planning and building fees.

The mayor and members of the city council are set to get a 2.25% raise. The mayor will earn an additional $1200 a year – increasing her salary up to almost $54,000 annually. The proposed raise for council members is about $600 more a year – raising their annual compensation to almost $28,000 a year. Elected officials also receive health insurance– or a cash payment if they waive it.

City staff could also get a raise of more than 2%. City manager Matt Dias says this can all be done without raising taxes.

“We're not talking a tax increase,” Dias said. “We have no record of us actually ever-increasing property taxes directly. So fortunately, sales taxes have continued to increase. And we have a variety of inflationary increases across the organization. And obviously, compensation and benefits is a large part of what we do as a municipality as a service provider and that's been one component of this overall budget process that we've been exploring for the last six months or so.”

Residents, however, will see their water rates go up 4.5% -- or about $5 per household -- to offset a $2 million deficit in the water fund. The rate increase will be used to maintain existing service levels and repay the ongoing capital projects. Still to be determined, Dias says, is whether the city’s golf course should start paying its fair share for water.

The golf course paid $11,000 for water in 2023, water that had a retail value of more than $1.1 million Dias says they’re looking at ways to ease the burden on ratepayers.

“Fortunately, we're not using culinary water on these areas,” he said. “So, we can come up with a moderate rate increase for those facilities that I think will help all ratepayers and help Council achieve their goal of not increasing rates as much as they would otherwise. I think there's a sweet spot in here. We put a lot of work into this coming up with other ways to not increase water rates as much as they would otherwise.”

As for the city’s reliance on sales taxes, Dias says unlike Heber City, Park City isn’t seeing a decline there and even with advanced reservations for the summer down, he remains optimistic.

“We just got our numbers for March, and we had the largest March we've ever had in the history of Park City. So, we had the greatest sales tax March revenue ever, and so very fortunate to have that. And I think this summer, we're just seeing flat.”

In other business Thursday, the council is set to hear the annual economic impact report from the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. The council will also take a look at another Main St. area plan, something that has been looked at several times in the past, to consider how to potentially develop city-owned parcels in the downtown area.