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Basin Rec proposing 19.9% tax increase for 2023

The Snyderville Basin Recreation District is seeking a nearly 20% tax increase. The proposed budget was presented to the Summit County Council last week and a truth in taxation public hearing will be set for December.

Basin Recreation is proposing to increase taxes next year to raise an additional $1.3 million. The last time the rec district went through truth in taxation was in 2019 and before that in 2004. District Director Dana Jones supports small, more frequent tax increases to meet increasing service demands.

I think we have just a really good plan for moving forward and all the things that we want to do,” Jones said. “And so, we just want to kind of get ahead of it. Last time we did truth and taxation, it had been 10 or 15 years before we'd done it previously. And we had to at that point in time, and this was just before I got here, we had to raise the taxes quite a bit. This time, you know, we, we want to just come at it slowly and work our way toward, you know, really beef up the organization as we grow, rather than waiting until it's too late to do that.”

The proposed increase will be an additional $8.20 for every $100,000 of a property’s taxable value annually.

“Nobody wants taxes,” Jones said. “But you know, the number of programs that we have are growing, the facilities are growing, we really have a lot of new space that we're opening to the public. And we have a lot of really cool plans for the future.

Some of the money will be used to maintain existing facilities and programs.

“A lot of our facilities are aging so we're finding that we need a lot more money for capital replacement. So, everything from condensers, to roofs, to, you know, the Fieldhouse equipment, it cost, I think close to $100,000 to replace the circuit equipment in the Fieldhouse, so part of the monies for that, another part is to just kind of help us cover the inflationary costs. Everything is, you know, construction projects are 20 to 50% higher than then were budgeted a couple years ago.”

She said the majority of the additional revenue will pay for staff, including a full-time year-round lifeguard, so the pool can stay open without having to reduce hours.

“We are planning on hiring seven new full time staff next year if we do get truth in taxation,” Jones said. “And one of those is that head lifeguard that I talked about. And the staff has really, it's spread out throughout all of our departments in the district, everything from trails and open space to parks to recreation staff, to admin staff. And so, we're really just trying to keep up with everything that we're doing.

The public hearing on the proposed tax increase will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14.