SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4 News) – A proposed fee by the Salt Lake City Council aims to pay for street light improvements and maintenance.
If adopted, a $3.73 fee will be charged to everyone who uses the streets lights, including residents, churches, schools and other non-profit organizations.
Funding for street lighting currently comes from the General Fund, which is funded through annual property taxes.
Over the past few years, maintenance on streets lights was scaled down due to a tight budget.
Churches, schools and other non-profit organization do not currently pay the General Fund.
Under the “Street Light Enterprise Fund” an estimated $3.6 billion would be generated, but the proposed fee would not result in a corresponding drop in property taxes.
Several residents from the Glendale area showed up for public comment and voiced their anger about the fee.
Randy Sorensen, a Glendale community spokesman, said residents agreed to pay $2.73, but not $3.73. Sorensen said broken lights and dark areas are a problem, but the residents are on a tight budget.
“This is not a fee, this is a tax,” he said. “It has no limit and can keep going up.”
Other residents said light posts need repair, bulbs need to be replaced and the city needs to help curb crime and theft of the street light property.
A vote by the Salt Lake City Council is expected on Dec. 11. If adopted, the fee would appear in the Jan. or Feb. billing cycle.