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Millcreek residents are not looking favorably upon making their east-central Salt Lake Valley community the county's 17th city, according to unofficial returns Tuesday.

With half of precincts reporting, 60 percent opposed formation of the proposed city of 63,500 people while almost 40 percent were in favor.

A 2011 study, funded by Salt Lake County after residents collected enough signatures on a petition to put the measure on the ballot, found that Millcreek city was feasible, particularly if city officials contracted for its services from the county, Unified Police Department and the Unified Fire Authority.

If that happened, the study projected a city would break even in its first year, but that after that, municipal revenues would grow at a slightly slower rate than expenses, over time producing an annual budget deficit of $2 million to $12 million.

Opponents maintained incorporation will mean higher taxes for the same level of services, arguing that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Proponents contended the feasibility study's projection of 1 percent sales tax growth annually was too low, noting that county collections have grown 5.7 percent and 7.6 percent the past two years. The extra sales tax revenue would help balance the books, they said, while city status will give residents more control over what happens in their communities.

The vote has widespread consequences for other unincorporated areas of the county such as Kearns, Magna and Emigration Canyon.

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