Tax Education 101

TAX EDUCATION 101  - Know Where Your Taxes Go, person doing taxes

Know How Your Taxes Work in South Jordan

Between property tax, sales tax, franchise taxes and more, there’s a lot to know about where your tax money goes. This page is dedicated to pointing the public to resources about how the City of South Jordan funds the services it provides—everything from street maintenance and plowing to parks and public safety. Want to dig in deeper to South Jordan's funding? Check out our Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Book (PDF).

Truth in Taxation

Quick Truth in Taxation Facts

Here are some quick facts about the Truth in Taxation process.

  • Truth in Taxation is a process taxing entities in Utah, like city governments, must follow before tax increases can occur. This ensures that taxing entities only increase taxes when it's needed.
  • The Truth in Taxation process allows the public to ask questions about a proposed tax increase before City Council approves it and makes changes. 
  • Utah Law requires that property tax rates automatically adjust when property values increase or decrease so the amount of money the City of South Jordan receives is the same from year to year. 
  • This means even as the City gains more residents to protect and more roads and green space to maintain, the property tax dollars the City can utilize to provide those services remains the same. 
  • This means that tax rates have decreased for South Jordan residents for the last five years.

Current Economic & Societal Factors

Several economic factors are impacting South Jordan's ability to provide services in 2022.

  • Most commodities the City purchases from fuel for vehicles, to salt we use on roads have increased in cost in the last two years. 
  • Due to supply chain issues and increases in material costs, construction projects have increased by 30% or more in most cases. These projects range from asphalt projects to park play grounds. This has resulted in project delays and has impacted the City's ability to begin planned projects.
  • South Jordan is growing quickly, which means the City needs to add staff to support City services and to maintain the service levels residents expect – everything from road work to parks maintenance, to events, and most namely City public safety personnel. As the City continues to grow, it will need more fire fighters and police officers than ever to maintain response times. As the City ages, there will more areas to maintain.
  • Within the last few years there has been upheaval in the police profession. This increased retirements among officers and last year several departments across the state increased wages to recruit more officers. The South Jordan City Council was unanimous in supporting current officers with increased pay and to prevent the loss of more personnel.

Property Taxes

Quick Property Tax Facts

Here are some other fun facts to remember about how property taxes work in Salt Lake County and what portion the City receives.

  • South Jordan’s property tax rate has declined for the past 5 years.
  • South Jordan’s property tax rate is lower than more than half the other cities in the County.
  • The City receives only $0.15 of every dollar paid in property tax and that accounts for nearly a quarter of the City’s budgeted general fund revenues.
  • The Jordan School District receives the largest amount of your tax dollars at 39%, followed by the county at 16%, the State Basic School levy at 15%, the City at 15% and the Salt Lake County Library at 4%.

Learn more on the Salt Lake County Property Tax website.

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Sales Tax

Sales tax is the largest revenue source for the City of South Jordan, making up approximately 27% of the overall general fund revenues. Sales tax revenues are forecasted utilizing existing collection trends, state budget forecasts, and other economic data which may influence the level of sales within the city.

Change in population is one factor that currently influences the distribution of sales tax revenue in South Jordan City. From the 2000 census to the 2010 census, population growth in South Jordan (71%) far exceeded the population vs Utah State as a whole (29%). This population growth resulted in South Jordan receiving a larger amount of tax revenue, as the Utah State Tax Commission uses new population estimates to distribute sales tax revenue.

Quick Sales Tax Facts

  • As of April 1, 2019, the sales tax rate in South Jordan City is 7.25%.
  • As of January 1, 2014, the statewide grocery food sales tax rate is 3%. (This tax applies to all non-prepared food purchases)
  • Of the Sales Tax 7.25% sales tax collected, 1.00% is distributed to local jurisdictions.
  • Of the local option tax collected (1%), 50% is distributed to the South Jordan. The remaining 50% is collected into a statewide pool and then allocated to each local jurisdiction based on each city’s population as a percentage of statewide population.
  • Sales tax collected is appropriated by City Council for the general fund.


Franchise Taxes

Quick Franchise Tax Facts

Franchise Fees are collected from the following utilities based on the respective rates resulting in the actual annual collections for FY2019-20:

  • Energy Sales & Use Tax (electric & gas), 6% (FY2019-20, $16.5million)
  • Telecommunications Tax, 3.5% (FY2019-20, $556,572)
  • Cable Television Franchise Tax, 5% (FY2019-20, $456,299)

General Fund

The general fund is the operating fund of the City for general service departments. The general fund has an operating budget of $52 million. This fund encompasses the bulk of activities that are traditionally considered basic governmental services such as public safety, public works, engineering and development services, recreation, and general government. 

Function
Percent
Description
Public Safety42%
Police/Animal Control/Fire
Public Works
9%
Fleet/Streets/Streetlighting/Cemetery
Planning & Engineering
11%
Planning/Engineering/Building
Admin. Services
23%
Parks/Recreation/Communications/Facilities
General Government
15%
City Manager/ACM/HR/Finance/City Commerce/City Attorney