Residents living in Cache County will see an increase in their property tax rates in 2014. The tax increase and money pulled from county reserves will be used to fund the $46 million dollar budget.
The council had originally recommended a 10 percent property tax increase to fund road, water, and mental health projects in Cache County. County Chair Val Potter said he is not in favor of increasing taxes at any level, but make a vote of compromise when the final budget request included a 5 percent tax increase instead.
"There is unnecessary spending, but to put your finger on it in the specific departments and decide what services we keep and what services we don't keep is what the county council is having trouble with in deciding where to make cuts," Potter said.
The county will use a portion of the tax increase money to fund a project with the Bear River Water Conservancy District. Eighty-thousand dollars of the $46 million budget will be used to work with irrigation companies and city water managers.
Another $80,000 of county money will be matched by state and federal funding for mental health services.
"This is our opportunity to enhance that department," Potter said. "We felt like we couldn't say no to what they are doing in the the mental health area because of the demand for what they are doing."
An increase in funding is also needed to cover the cost of repairing and maintaining Cache County roads. The council decided against a proposal to do away with the county's road department and instead, hire sub-contractors to take care of roads, Potter said.
"The road department has been cut because of state and federal funding that we had received for our county roads," he said. "We have cut six people from that department and decided we needed to do something."
The county has also funded the hiring of an additional staff member for the county's fire and emergency services department.