Orem considering property tax increase to fund more police officers

Local News

“This would be a dedicated property tax,” said Steven Downs, Orem’s Deputy City Manager. “It will be used only for the hiring of police officers.”

A decision has yet to be made, but the potential of increasing property taxes for Orem residents is under heavy consideration. 

It’s all in an effort to add more officers to the city’s police department.

The property tax increase would go towards funding two to four new officers for the department. The range is between $.50 to one dollar a month.

To see how residents were feeling about the increase, the city released a survey.

It offers different options for residents to weigh out.

“One of the options is as low as five or six dollars a year,” said Downs. “So about $.50 a month per household on average to fund two additional officers. That includes their equipment, their car, everything needed for that officer on-going.”

If the city hires four officers, the option goes up to $12 per year or one dollar per month.

With the growth in Orem’s population, the city says there are now more service calls including ones for new services like mental health.

“Ten years ago, mental health calls didn’t exist, but we’re seeing with the schools, in our families that mental health is on the rise,” said Downs. Our police department is often called on to respond to those calls.”

The department currently has 82 sworn officers on the force.

If approved, the property tax increase will be the first the city council has voted on in 41 years.

On Tuesday, the city council will be presented with the feedback from the survey at its council meeting.

The meeting is at 3 p.m. in the city conference room. It will be open to the public.

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