Less than 24 hours after the Salt Lake City Council voted five to two, passing a two hundred million dollar budget that includes an eight million dollar tax increase, Mayor Ralph Becker vetoed the entire proposal. When the Mayor presented his own budget proposal to the council earlier this year, he told members that the city had saved enough money over his six years in office, city services could remain at current levels without raising more revenue. Before he signed the budget veto, Becker said that the council should allow for a year-long discussion to examine a property tax increase before approving one.
“So I view this budget as very much a status quo budget. And as I indicated in April when I delivered this budget to the city council, I recognize that it is not sustainable over a long period of time. But it certainly is sustainable without raising property taxes for another year,” said Becker.
Mayor Becker said new streams of revenue could be created if Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act. It would allow cites to charge tax on internet sales and open the door to a potential city gas tax. The city council is scheduled to meet on Friday and has a large enough vote margin to override the veto.