Letter to the Editor: Water district’s property tax ‘not a good plan’

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OPINION — Washington County Water Conservancy District is increasing property taxes for 2019. Taxes buy us civilization, but sources of special district income can be opaque, and the most opaque is property tax. Unlike water use charges, it doesn’t encourage conservation and disproportionately affects the poor.

The district’s budgets, philosophies and plans are not on the Utah Transparency website. It’s clear they want to provide as much water as anyone wants, and they hope the state of Utah will subsidize as much of the costs as possible. To make that case, the 2019 budget forecasts an impressive $200 million stockpile of, basically, cash. The philosophy is to bill taxpayers now for a Lake Powell Pipeline project expected to cost almost $2 billion and not built for decades, ignoring that there won’t be sufficient water in Lake Powell by then.

Capital projects benefiting future populations should be paid for by bonding, with repayment coming from those who reap the benefits. The Water Conservancy District, wanting others in the state to pay for their water and reticent to charge real costs for water use, is playing politics by amassing property taxes to promote a project that is dead in the water. Not a good plan.

Submitted by BRYAN DIXON, St. George, Utah.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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Posted in Letter to the Editor, Opinion / ColumnsTagged , ,


  • tcrider December 4, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    How about having the developers (especially the developers with the lagoons and manmade lakes) , waterparks and all the golf courses paying for the lions share if they want tax payers to pay for this?

    • Howard Sierer Howard Sierer December 4, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Every golf course in Washington County uses secondary water taken from the sewage treatment plant’s output and from non-potable water wells. Like you, I oppose the Lake Powell pipeline, but golf courses are not offenders.

      • jaltair December 4, 2018 at 10:14 pm

        Water is water, and even the sewer water and secondary water can be treated and used or percolated back into the groundwater supply. I take exception with your idea the golf courses are not offenders. They definitely are, as are any water parks and manmade lakes.

        • Comment December 4, 2018 at 11:19 pm

          Howard must be a big golfer. He looks like a golfer. So I’m not surprised. 😉

    • Jack December 5, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Is it not about time in Utah that the Developers cease to do their projects on the backs of the citizens? Larceny in the name of progress is an evil act. In this case it is probably illegal. The con is for the people to build infrastructure then the Developers use the infrastructure to finance their projects. If the developers want the pipeline, let them pay for it. That is called fairness. The same goes for the Water and Sewer district’s projects. They are trying to turn our beautiful desert into an Iowa cornfield. Time to sober up and get real about where we live and it’s climate and how many people it can support.

  • Not_So_Much December 4, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I’m not the expert, but my understanding is the State will ‘back’ bonds (so someone will buy them) but it will be the users in the water district who will pay, with interest included, upwards of $3 billion for the pipeline. Until enough people rise up and insist that the budget be 100% funded by hook up fees and amount of water used. Having 69% of the budget coming from property taxes makes no sense.
    Who will profit if a water pipeline is built? Do you want smart growth or another metro mess in the not too distant future? Let your voice be heard Wed at 6 pm at the water district headquarters. Also should there be an overflow crowd, will another hearing be held or is just for show anyway?

    • jaltair December 4, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      A letter can also be written if you can’t make the meeting. Look under “Contact” on the Washington County Water Conservancy District website. I did this last night and was told it would go to the board for input at the hearing.

    • tazzman December 5, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Not_So_Much, I think that metro mess you are saying in the not too distant future is here, now. And it will only get worse. The local politicians and bureaus are simply too greedy building and getting all of the tax base that comes with it to care about the fallout, including poor roads, congestion, and diminishment of quality of life.

  • Red2Blue310 December 4, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Someones making $ of this deal, but not the people.

  • Borowiak Mark December 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    I was the ONLY one running for office in 2018 who even questioned the justification for building the LPP . As a result, every establishment politician opposed me and I was defeated. People need to get informed and vote if they desire any change.

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