Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Since several of you asked about the “significantly more property tax ” question, here’s a short answer. In order to purchase land for green space there needs to be a funding mechanism. There are a variety of options available. I know Ron Phillips has suggested a small sales tax increase as one option. Property taxes are one source of revenue for the city. But currently our city is very dependent on sales tax to meet our general fund obligations. And there are sometimes consequences to retail and economic development when we raise a sales tax. Property taxes represents a relatively small portion of the general fund. The city is not flush with cash as some would like to believe. Sometimes when a neighborhood wants a specific improvement they can create a special assessment district in order to add an amenity. As it is, all of these options require careful, and thoughtful exploration and consideration to the consequences, both good and bad. My intent in asking the question was to explore how our community would feel about the property tax option and whether it was a discussion that would have any support to merit further exploration. We all want good things for our community. And when you balance that desire with all the other desires of good things to do for our community, it quickly can become very complicated. Let’s keep the dialogue going.
Here are some your comments to the survey:
Why the question about higher taxes to keep open space?
Thanks for asking for our input.
West Provo is unique. It is the only part of town with large open spaces that need to be preserved. Other areas could have been preserved but were built out instead in favor of more property tax revenue. East Bay and southeast Provo is where the city should be focused for business development. The airport will never be the next SLC and trying to make it such is simply misguided and a waste of taxpayer money. I have always felt that Provo’s politicians (city and school district) have always run on a platform of lower taxes or at least no new taxes. This has only resulted in the city and school district struggling to do all hat is necessary with little resources. As a result, many decisions are made that increase sales tax or property tax revenue rather than making better decisions and asking existing taxpayers to foot the bill. Spreading the burden over more and more taxpayers just spreads us too thin. We can’t have it all (low taxes and lots of benefits). I am glad to be paying for the library and soon the new rec center. I would be in favor of paying for remodeling city schools.
The question about lake utilization is too vague. “Utilization” can mean exploitative development or careful resource management. Similarly the question about roadways/transportation is ambiguous. Of course they’re important, and planning is important. It’s like saying water is important. But “how much” is the better question.
I think that advance planning can help diminish future problems. I think that we are kinda in a situation there because of lack of advance planning.
Want to keep the open space and don’t want the wetlands to be used as developments and would like to find an alternative plan for the use of the west side of Provo.
My current concern is for turning yards into parking for rentals. It impacts everyone except the Landlords. With a school, a park, 3 churches, in our south campus neighborhood, also a lot of foot traffic, it seems irresponsible.
Sherrie, My answers are not accurate in many cases because the survey doesn’t really give me the options that I would choose in many cases, and that is to plan to do as little as possible on the West side, at least outside the center street/airport corridor. Could you give folks the option, “do not want,” in addition to “not important.” Utilization of the lake could mean a lot of things, good and bad, like a bridge. And I’m not convinced that preserving space will raise taxes. Greenbelts tend to increase property values for those already living in a city, which means somewhat higher property taxes, but no need for increased services, such as schools, so tax rates could actually be lowered. And studies show that cities (which by the way are not corporations that ought to seek growth in revenue for its own sake) can in fact increase revenue more efficiently by redeveloping the core. A single, luxury, highrise condo in downtown Provo can bring in far more revenue than building another low density neighborhood like the one I live in. And it uses no new space, green or otherwise, and you don’t have to provide new water, electrical, sewage lines or new streets, which all cost a great deal. Far more bang for the buck, and it preserves open spaces.
That question, “Would you be willing to pay significantly more in property taxes to preserve open space?” is a loaded question. What are you saying there, you can’t run a city and have open space at the same time? Not sure what you mean there but it sure sounds like a poorly worded question. Random removal of reeds has ruined protected water skiing areas in “mud lake.” Reeds act as wave absorbers and their complete removal in some areas without regard to how the lake has been used is distressing.
Completing the Sandhill Road to Independence Avenue to Center Street would cut down on a lot of Geneva Road traffic.
Provo is jumping the gun yet again. We don’t need to waste tax payer dollars on a connector road that is pointless. Seriously? Spending 15-20 million to save 2 minutes? Ridiculous!
Talking about growth is important not to support it but to limit it. Growth at the airport and expansion into the only freen space Provo has left must both be limited.
Green space and environmentally wise use of lake and all areas that put it’s health at risk most important. Do not allow continued expansion of housing and economic uses that continue to have greatly unwise expansive use of environmentally dangerous drainage into our lake that is important for health of humans.
Master planning is extremely important & I believe that the majority of Provo has either not been well-planned or has been left on it’s own to develop however it would, resulting in a community that feels, in some places, cluttered, clumsy, decrepit, and even ugly when it could have been beautiful. I love the people who live here, but the city of Provo, on the whole, is not a beautiful one because of this. The mountains help but the city needs major beautification and preservation of what remains of its natural beauty – open space. Much of the land that is undeveloped in West Provo is frequently swampy and no further development should be done over there anyway. Please focus on enhancing what we currently have…not trying to create more when Provo can’t even handle what it currently has!
Adding a road any where closer to the lake than Lakeshore would signifacantly hurt open space preservation. Notg to mention what I believe is correct that a portion of the proposede North West connector runs through the county. So that means the city would need their approval as well. (My response: That area was annexed into the city up to 2000 north.)
Something must be done with the westside image. It looks more and more run down every day. I would love to see Utah Lake improved and used to its fullest potential.
Can you please add Rivergrove to your list below? Because 820 North provides one of the main east-west connections, Rivergrove, more than any neighborhood east of 1-15, has more to lose from unabated and unsustainable growth west of 1-15. Contact your neighborhood chairs for information: Fort Utah, Paul Slade – email Lakeview South, Kevin Garver-email Lakeview North, Norm Beagley-email Lakewood, Terry Herbert- email Provo Bay, Harry McCoard- email Sunset, Brian Taylor- email Grandview South, Kay VanBuren- email
Thank you for all you do!
Southern California used up all their open space and how are they doing financially?
Thank you, Sherrie.
I am not willing to pay significantly more in property taxes, though I would pay more, but I would like more of my property taxes to go towards open space and less towards public schools. Also, while I don’t support the Provo Northwest Connector, I do believe that roadways are important and need to be planned. Also, “utilization of the lake” is a bit too vague. I definitely support more access to the lake, and points of entry where bikers/walker/recreationers (non-boaters) can enter for a reduced (or no) fee.
I don’t understand why open space costs more money…
I live on the east bench.
Lumping trails and biking with open space may skew the results. We don’t want tax money spent on more open space but would support maintaining existing trails and bike paths. Though the Provo River Trail is nice, it is too dangerous for to me to bike the underpasses because they are too narrow with limited visibility. We want taxes kept as low as possible and government as limited as practical–to limit government interference in our lives as well as to save us money.
I want to be part of a solution for our neighborhood. It is a GREAT neighborhood and the only people that would profit from the new roadway, etc. are those who do NOT live in our neighborhood.
I think this survey is topically wrong. Is supporting or not supporting a master plan what you are surveying? It seems to me that there will be a master plan either way. I don’t know enough about what is in the master plan to answer the survey, but why would we pay more in property taxes to preserve open space? It appears that Provo city is expanding the airport to get federal money-saving provo money and allowing development to increase tax revenue. Will added noise and confusion from a larger airport and bigger roads cause me to move from the area?
Not yet sure how to answer property tax question — perhaps yes, if there really is no other way, but there has got to be a way for a city to preserve open space without this kind of burden on taxpayers…
Whenever I see green space or “Open space” I think “What a waste” that could have been used for an office complex or a homesite. I take joy in economic activity and I want the government to do less!
Property tax is not the only solution to preserving natural areas and open space. A minor increase is sales tax – .1% to .25% – will do the same thing. Plus, if you use property tax, it does not have to be “significantly more.” The question seems to be written to encourage people to answer “no.”
With all the development that has happened on the west side since 1984 when we moved here, no one has planned and followed through with the developers and made sure that what was planned happened. Who enforces what was planned? I think of the retention pond that was supposed to happen at Larry and Karin Weights-that never happened. But it was supposed to. The developer comes in, builds his homes, makes his money and the people suffer. Plan for the roads and build them. Plan for the airport and build it. But enforce the infrastructure requirements that the developers are supposed to be doing. As far as the Northwest connector, I remember Lakeshore Drive being designated as a connector way back when, but then people moved in that didn’t know about it and now its a problem. How can people be informed about things? The realtors don’t tell them. The developers don’t tell them. I know to look at a Master Plan but how many people do? Do we have a huge road built before we need it? I don’t know. I appreciate the wonderful job you are doing, Sherrie, and support you. But there are problems here that people need to address. Thanks.
What a great and informative website. I wish all council members had a website as incredible as this.
This city needs a soccer complex. Buy up some land and get it done. We lag behind so many places that are even smaller than Provo and this is a growth area. It also goes to preserve open space and generates some tournament revenue that currently goes to Orem in the tens of thousands each season to Orem. (My response: The Council funded a Park Masterplan update to address this issue and others. As soon as the contract is awarded on the Rec Center, the focus in that department will shift to the Masterplan.)
Define Significantly more-extremely vague question and biased. I answered “no” only because there is no other choice. Bad survey design. While I applaud your efforts, this survey is merely giving lip service to the job as a council person that you were entrusted with. Like a true politician, when the time to get re-elected comes up you hunker down to make sure you are showing good face. Where was this 2 years ago? And since this is a non-scientific opinion survey with no real way to randomly sample the neighborhood, results from this survey should be considered just that…opinion. Unless you are able to have 100% of the population complete it, it is not relevant and should be treated as such. Any representation otherwise is misleading and untrue. You are welcome to contact me if you would like. (My response: Ouch! Just trying to show a good face? Pay lip service? Where was this 2 years ago? I am a graphic designer and marketing manager, single mom, support my family, run a business, am an entrepreneur, serve in the community and am on the council. Websites take a lot of time, and the technology that is here today, wasn’t there two years ago to do this in a way that was efficient. Give me a little credit for trying to reach out…oh, and by the way, I’m not a professional survey designer. I was just trying to engage my neighbors in a discussion to help us explore further. It was an honest and hopeful effort to help you participate. And while my term ends this year, I haven’t actually decided yet whether I will run or not. And I don’t plan to for at least a couple more months. I want to focus on the job at hand.)
I fully support a road plan that will keep traffic out of our neighborhoods – Like the master plan that way things are not built haphazzardly.