The Carbon County Commissioners chose to host a second public hearing regarding the proposed Carbon County Municipal Services Fund tax rate increase, as well as the 2020 budget, following their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday evening.
Before opening the hearing, the commissioners answered a number of questions that were raised at the first hearing hosted in November. The actual amount of the proposed increase is 733 percent. The amount collected through tax will be 7.3 times higher than the amount currently collected. It was also stated that only a single line item of the property tax is being raised.
The total tax increase for those in Carbon County will be 16.92 percent. While it was acknowledged that it is significant, it not is not true that any individual’s tax bill is being increased seven times. An example was given by stating that those with a $1,000 tax would see an increase of $169.20.
Passing this would mean that those that live in the unincorporated areas will pay nearly as much as those that reside within the county limits. Rumors such as Scofield and Nine Mile having no attention from the county’s departments were also refuted.
The commissioners spoke on the businesses that are coming into the area and Carbon County Attorney Christian Bryner also discussed the county being praised for their Municipal Services Revenues in a previous audit.
Sheriff Jeff Wood then took time to speak on the sheriff’s office, the budget, his employees and more. He remarked that none of those with comments have reached out to the office to learn more about how they function, though the office is opened 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
The office has 12 deputies of two crews that comprise the patrol teams. At the end of November, the department had 1,750 jail bookings, 1,600 reports, 7,406 calls that were responded to and over 3,000 traffic stops.
Following these enlightenments by a number of the elected officials, the public hearing was opened near 7 p.m. Many facts, figures and statistics were brought by around 30 citizens. Some had spoken at the previous meeting while others had not. Following the closing of the public hearing, the commissioners answered many of the questions posed to them that evening.
Since 2015, 46 full-time employees and 29 part-time employees have been reduced from the county. This was presented against the suggestion to cut employment. The commissioners also agreed they would love to sell property or facilities if there were those willing to buy.
After lengthy explanations, discussions and more, Carbon County Commissioner Larry Jensen motioned that the tax increase be approved. Commissioner Tony Martines seconded with no opposition.
To conclude, the 2020 budget was also approved.
A complete video of the meeting can be viewed by clicking here.