As Mayor, I would focus on improving West Bountiful City’s economy. The city’s economy is lacking due to an absence of economic development planning and implementation, and Holly Oil’s ongoing property tax cuts.
Something Holly said in early 2011 caused me to research (at the Davis County Government Offices in Farmington in 2011 & 2012) Holly’s property taxes since 1989. My research shows that it has been allowed to pay thousands less than it should have owed in property taxes, and that it has used greenbelt provisions to save even more money on property taxes.
There are consequences to Holly’s tax cuts: First, there are fewer revenues for public services, which leads to tax increases for other property owners; second, three good County Commissioners lost their jobs over an attempt to raise property taxes to fill the gaps caused by Holly’s reductions and other shortages in public services; third, the city has become dependent upon Holly for gifts such as the 4th of July, etc. If Holly paid fair taxes and had not gotten a reduction in 2004, there would be more funds available. The city would not need Holly’s funds for these projects.
In summary, the combination of Holly’s tax reductions and the city’s lack of planning to make up for lost revenues has caused the city to become dependent upon Holly.
I approached Mayor Romney about this starting in early 2011. I suggested that the city do an economic development study of properties that could be improved and generate revenues to replace losses caused by Holly. I gave an example of Jeff Tingey’s small West Bountiful business on less than an acre near Holly. It generates more than $14,000 in property taxes annually. I am open to other possible solutions. Mayor Romney disagreed.
Either other property owners must make up, in taxes, for losses caused by Holly or another solution must be adopted. Fulfilling the golf course bond payment will not replace the losses to Davis schools or other public services. Other revenues generated within the city may help the city but would not replace the 60 percent for the schools. Property taxes may still need to be increased. A school bond has been mentioned.
If elected as Mayor, I will focus on making West Bountiful better economically to benefit all residents and property owners. I will also strive to make improvements in services that need improvements.
West Bountiful mayoral candidate