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West Jordan Journal

West Jordan budget season is here

May 30, 2022 06:10PM ● By Erin Dixon

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

City budgets run on fiscal years, meaning they don’t follow the January–December calendar. The budget in West Jordan begins July 1 and ends Jun 30 the next year. The city council must approve a budget by the end of June (or a tentative one if there is a tax-rate change proposal).

The mayor is responsible for making the budget with city staff during the spring. The council reviews it, suggests changes, then approves or denies it.

In May, West Jordan Finance Director Danyce Steck presented the tentative budget to the council.

One of the biggest expenses this coming year is a cost-of-living adjustment.

“[There will be a] 6% cost of living adjustment, citywide,” Steck said. “Other cities are doing 8% or 9%.”

Many city employees have been significantly underpaid the average wage for their field in Utah, especially in public works and police. There are some new positions in public works to support the expanding city, and wage increases for police officers. The increase in officer pay is state and nationwide. 

“The total cost to implement [the compensation increase] is $887,437,” Steck said. “The majority of that will go to police, and public works.”

Other factors pushing for higher numbers on the budget include inflation and increased service demands.

“We are bringing on a brand-new park, Maple Hills Park,” Steck said. “All of these parks are being paid by impact fees. Residents are not paying for the building of the new parks; these were paid for by developers. But, when you build a new park, you have to maintain it, water it, mow it. We also have increased demand on streets and sidewalk repair. We’re years behind street and sidewalk maintenance.”

If the council approves the budget, there will be eight new full-time and one part-time positions. The jobs are for parks project manager, maintenance of Maple Hills Park, engineers, an assistant chief administrative officer and a passport office worker.

The mayor’s office is proposing a tax increase this year.

“I estimate the tax increase will be 10% to bring in a $2 million budget increase,” Steck said.  “Ten percent is less than $3.50 per month per average home.”


This would put West Jordan in the middle of the county's city tax rates. Herriman has the highest rate; Draper has the lowest.

Money for the city comes primarily from sales tax, property tax and other taxes (such as delinquent tax, fees in lieu of, motor vehicle tax).

At the time of publication there may be changes to some of the items covered here. More information on the final budget will be published in July.

How tax rate is decided

A city receives the same amount of property tax dollars as the previous year.

For example, if a city received $15 million from property taxes in 2021, in 2022 the city will receive $15 million from those same property owners. If there is new growth, the city will receive property tax from the new residents for that year only.

If values on homes go down, the rate for everyone goes up. If values go up, the tax rate goes down. This protects the city from losing money if the housing market struggles, it protects residents from paying more taxes just because the housing market is doing well.

Anytime city leaders want to do a different rate, up or down, than set by Salt Lake County, a truth-in-taxation meeting that involves the public is required. The rate change can only happen once a year, in August.