From The St. George Spectrum (Lexi Peery):
Water managers in southwestern Utah are proposing a property tax hike.
The Washington County Water Conservancy District announced the past week that the increase would help pay for things like fire protection, conservation programs and flood control, along with the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline.
The increase would translate to an estimated $7.57 per year for residences valued at $329,000. For a business of that same value, the increase would be about $13.77 a year.
The increase is mostly an effort to keep up with inflation, according to Ron Thompson, WCWCD manager, although he said it is also part of a long-term strategy by the WCWCD to prepare for future projects and growth…
Lake Powell Pipeline
The district has been steadily increasing its tax rates along with water rates and impact fees as part of a long-range plan to ensure steady water supplies for the area, and a large chunk of future expenses are expected to go toward the pipeline.
At some 140 miles and at a price tag that could be more than $1 billion, the project would need state funding to move forward, but the district has also started increasing its revenues to help cover local costs.
The district has already started in on a plan to increase water rates by 10-cents per 1,000 gallons, every year. From where they started at just more than $1 per 1,000 gallons in 2016, the plan is to continue increasing them each year until they roughly triple, reaching $3 per 1,000 gallons.
A report filed in 2017 by the state as part of its application for a federal permit for the project suggested the water district could raise nearly $1.6 billion in revenue by 2065 by boosting the rates that way.
The district has also already been raising impact fees on new construction, with plans to continue increasing the fee by $1,000 per year through at least 2026.