Emery County Faced With a “No Win” Situation


By Julie Johansen

On Tuesday, Emery County Clerk Brenda Tuttle was prepared to present a tentative budget at the commission meeting as a starting point for the final budget for 2023. Shortly before this meeting, the county received a final and unappealable judgement or order to repay property tax to PacifiCorp in the amount of $5,707,000. This amount is for a six-year period from 2016 to 2021.

There are some options, including a cash disbursement, but a repayment schedule has not been received. This will again affect the five entities in the county that receive property tax funds.

The county could have a one-time tax levy, which would again increase property taxes about 30 %. The tax impact on a $200,000 home would be $289.24. For a $200,000 business, it would be $525.88.

A public hearing has been set for Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. at the administration building on Main Street in Castle Dale. All concerned citizens are invited to attend.

The tentative budget for Castle Valley Special Service District, which manager Jacob Sharp was ready to present to the commissioners, will also have to be amended to include the district’s share of the tax judgement. Sharp stated that everything was essentially the same as previous years in all three budget areas before the inclusion of the increase tax judgement.

Also during the meeting, the safety minute presentation was given by Nadine Thompson from the county assessor’s office. She spoke about the hazards of choking, especially with younger children. She encouraged everyone to learn CPR and listed several items that are likely to cause choking.

Following her presentation, Emery County Commission Chair Lynn Sitterud drew the names for the safety Visa gift cards. Once again, he commended the employees for their long streak with no loss time records. The cards were awarded to Stephanie Howes, Tracy Davis, Jan Olsen, Jeff Guymon, Dylan Keele and Kyler Farley.

Next, Emery County Library Director Desiree Malley requested ratification for acceptance of the Diverse Book bundles from the Utah State Library, the Beehive Consortium, and the Hot to Trot (Spot) between the State Library and Emery County.

Finally, the amended billing service agreement between Emery County and JCI Billing Services received approval. This raised the cost of billing from $36 per service to $40 per service.

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