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South Valley Riverton Journal

Riverton Passes Annual Budget with no tax raise

Jul 03, 2023 01:14PM ● By Travis Barton

Riverton City’s approximate $83 million budget will see no increases through property taxes as the City Council unanimously approved this year’s budget. 

“I think we can celebrate that once again we have not raised taxes in Riverton City,” Councilmember Troy McDougal said after the vote. 

Despite an “incredibly high inflationary period,” he credited the lack of a tax hike to an increased tax revenue base, good business planning and the participation of local business allowing them to “keep those taxes low for our residents.” 

“We’re seeing the strength of that financial foundation here during tough economic times, so I commend council, staff and we’ll just keep moving year after year and hopefully keep that trajectory going,” he said. 

The mayor presents the budget in May and the council adopts it in June. Mayor Trent Staggs was proud of what  they’ve been able to accomplish fiscally. 

“We’re doing rather well,” he said during their June 6 council meeting. “We’ve gotten ahead of it with economic development and brought in a lot of sales tax revenue as a result, allows us to keep our fees and our taxes very low.” 

He noted other cities last year, and Sandy this year, have had to raise taxes. 

“We’re not in that situation here thankfully,” he said. “I think we’ve done a great job as elected officials and staff working together to get this budget done and do it a way that’s very, very responsible.” 

During the city’s two available public hearings in June, no members of the public came to speak. 

Couple items of note:

Sales tax revenues are projected to rise from $12 million to $13.5 million. 

The council approved Police Chief Blair Barfuss’ request for additional motorcycles. Barfuss reported that approximately 60-70% of the department’s time is dedicated to traffic accidentsand related issues, adding that 80% of the community complaints received are also traffic related. He proposed using motorcycles for traffic enforcement at key intersections, construction sites and school crossings, citing data that 70% of accidents happen at two specific intersections. The upfront cost is about $60,000 per year for a two-year lease on two motorcycles. 

The council decided against adding any money to enhance its holiday experience by offering a portable ice rink or unique attraction during December with several councilmembers voicing their satisfaction with the current holiday expenditures. Initially the budget proposed increasing the holiday fund from $30,000 to $75,000 with the idea being to explore options for a skating rink at a free or affordable price, but after council feedback, it remained at $30,000. λ