Every year we read in your paper about what a lot of money the town of Star Valley has in its coffers (Despite recession, Star Valley banks $4M, Oct. 21). A portion of this money is taken every month from low income and senior residents living in Star Valley, the primary affordable housing in the Payson area, in the form of a renters’ tax.
At the time of incorporation, promises were made to property owners that property tax would not go up. Instead, a renters’ tax was to be enacted; when that was publicized, many Star Valley renters went to protest. We were told that many towns have such a tax; however, we pointed out that our nearest neighbor, Payson, does not have such a tax. Our protests were ignored, and the tax was enacted at 2 percent of the rent, which of course goes up annually if the rent goes up. When we protested the percentage we were told that we should have protested before the ordinance was passed.
We also have read in your paper that the council is considering dropping the rental tax — or even lowering it — but of course, that never happens, even in these hard economic times. We have not been able to find out how much the town gets from these taxes, which should be a public record. This is never mentioned in the articles — apparently these monies are lumped together under the category of sales tax. Would it be possible for you to find out and publish how much of the town’s annual income is from the renters’ tax? We would appreciate it very much, as I’m sure the many renters in the area would as well.
Residents of Star Vale Leisure Living, Star Valley,
Art Stone, Pat Watson, Mary Szabo,
Darlene Von Ehrenkrook, Betty Colvin