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Riverton • The City Council, scheduled to vote on a proposed 9.5 percent property-tax increase to fund police services, tabled the decision Tuesday until its Oct. 4 meeting.
Council members also postponed action on a resolution to put the question of withdrawing from the police service district on the ballot in next year's municipal election.
The postponement follows a request for time to react to Riverton's new resolution from the Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Service Area (SLVLESA), a Unified Police Department funding organization that also encompasses Salt Lake County and Herriman.
To make sure the city doesn't pay more than its fair share to remain a part of the policing district, the City Council has drafted a resolution to ask voters if Riverton City should withdraw from SLVLESA.
A report from Councilman Trent Staggs indicated that Riverton City isn't satisfied with the financial arrangement since joining SLVLESA in 2012. Staggs estimated that Riverton's property tax contribution currently is $5 million each year, almost perfectly covering the $4.9 million cost of operating police services in the city.
But if the property tax is increased as proposed, Riverton would pay an extra $400,000 at minimum next year that wouldn't circle back to an equivalent value of benefit to residents, Staggs calculated.
SLVLESA also plans to expand its board from five members to 11 in January, giving Riverton less representation in the organization.
Since the next municipal election won't be until 2017, the council agreed they had plenty of time to work out the issues.
In the meantime, the council wants to focus on going through the legal language in the resolution with a fine-tooth comb. Ryan Carter, the city attorney, has drawn up three drafts so far.
In addition to the wording in the resolution, city council members want to be sure the question in the ballot proposal is free of confusion especially when the question of creating a police force for Riverton enters the mix.
Riverton's approval for the 9.5 percent tax increase is the last needed in the wake of endorsements by Salt Lake County and Herriman.