Aerial image looking to the southeast over Herriman residential areas

Property Tax

Herriman Property Taxes

The City Council is tasked with representing residents in prioritizing a City's services within the bounds of its financial means. One of its core priorities is ensuring public safety, a major part of which is maintaining a quality police force. To be able to do so in coming years, the City believes the law enforcement property tax entity, the Herriman City Safety Enforcement Area (HCSEA), needed an increased tax rate. On August 22, at the Truth-in-Taxation hearing, the City Council voted for an HCSEA increase of 12.2%.

What Herriman property tax is increasing next year?

The Herriman City Council controls three separate property tax entities that pay for different types of services. The City recently approved an increase for one of these entities, the Herriman City Safety Enforcement Area (HCSEA), which funds police/law enforcement services in Herriman. The other taxing entities under the City Council’s control are the Herriman City Fire Service Area, which funds fire and emergency medical services; and Herriman City, which funds a small portion of all other City services. Neither of these two entities had a tax increase.

Why does law enforcement need an increase?

There are three main factors that affect operating costs:

  1. Growth (more people to serve means more costs)
  2. The salary market
  3. Inflation

Utah state property tax law is set up in a way that taxing entities, like cities, receive more revenue from growth, but the law doesn’t account for market changes or inflation. Therefore, despite any growth, if salaries or inflation are driving operating costs up, then tax revenue needs to increase to pay for services.

The HCSEA funds Herriman Police Department services, including officer salaries, vehicles, equipment, operations, and future facilities. Personnel costs have increased significantly in recent years due to rises in average law enforcement salaries and partly due to inflation. To maintain an appropriately staffed and equipped police force in future years, the City Council voted to offset rising costs with increased tax revenue.

Increased costs

  • Due to inflation, the HCSEA has lost the equivalent of $1.4 million of buying power since 2019
  • Average law enforcement salaries in the Salt Lake Valley have increased by 33% since 2018, outpacing inflation
  • Vehicle fleet costs have risen about 50% since 2018
  • Calls for service have nearly doubled since 2019
  • The City is working to save money for a public safety building to ensure proper police service as Herriman grows

Growing revenue is not keeping up

  • New growth in the City has accounted for an average of $554,000 (about 9% each year) for the HCSEA. This partially offsets rising costs but isn’t enough to keep up

How much will my taxes go up?

It depends on your home value. The average assessed home value in Herriman is $587,900, which translates to about $52 more per year than if there had been no increase. The total amount paid to the HCSEA for the average home value will be about $478.16, which is about 12.6% of the total property tax paid for all entities.

What would an increase pay for?

There are a variety of ways the City could allocate funds from an increased police tax rate, depending on how much revenue comes in and how needs arise. The City's police fund has a balanced budget for this coming year, but looking to the future, Herriman's growth generally needs to be met with additional resources and services. The HCSEA was established in 2018 and has not had a rate increase until this year.

There are a variety of considerations, including the following:
  • New officer cost (salary, benefits, equipment, patrol vehicle): $240,000 each
    • The previously-approved hiring of three additional officers was canceled (see the next section). Re-adding those three officers could be a consideration for a tax revenue increase
    • Personnel costs account for about 85% of the police department budget
    • Calls for service have nearly doubled since 2019
  • Level of service: maintaining the police department's level of service will require additional officers and funding. The level of service would likely decrease in coming years without a tax increase
  • Vehicle replacements: fleet costs have increased by about 50% since the department began in 2018
  • The City's General Fund has covered about $3.9 million in police costs over the last few years. General Fund money is usually not meant for public safety but rather general City services like road maintenance, streetlights, parks, and other functions
  • Future public safety facility construction

What has already been done to reduce costs?

The initial police budget for the fiscal year July 2023 – June 2024 had a deficit of $1.1 million. To offset the deficit and balance the budget, the City has done the following:

  • Canceled the previously-approved addition of 3 new officers and vehicles
  • Canceled the replacement hiring of a departed civilian staff member
  • Now paying for crossing guard expenses through the City’s General Fund. This is a re-allocation rather than an expense cut. General Fund money is not usually meant for public safety but rather for general City services like road maintenance, streetlights, parks, and other functions

Doesn’t the City already get more property tax revenue when it grows?

Yes and no. Utah state property tax law is set up in a way that taxing entities (cities, counties, etc.) receive the same amount of revenue year to year regardless of property values rising or falling. Each year, the State uses property value data and tax revenue targets to calculate tax rates so that, on average, residents don’t pay a different dollar amount year to year. If property values rise, the tax rate decreases. The overall revenue that the city receives stays the same, except when there is new growth (which regularly occurs in Herriman). When there’s new growth, the new homes are taxed at the same rate as existing homes, so revenue increases alongside the growth. But the rate stays the same.

However, if a taxing entity needs more revenue than population growth is providing, they can choose to raise the property tax rate in order to reach a higher revenue amount.

For a deeper explanation, see “how are property tax rates set in Utah?” below.

Spreadsheet showing taxing entities for properties in Herriman, what the entities do, and approximately how much is paid per entity during the year.
Pie chart showing that the three City-controlled taxing entities total about a quarter of the total property taxes paid by Herriman residents.

Who/what do I pay property taxes to?

Some may wonder if their property taxes just go to their local city and nowhere else. The answer is no. In Herriman, the general City tax itself represents only a small portion—about 1.7% this year—of the total amount paid. Law enforcement and fire service taxes each add an additional 11.4% (note: if an HCSEA increase is approved, that percentage would be anywhere from 11.4 to 13%). So, all three City-controlled entities add up to about one quarter of the total property tax paid. So where does the rest of it go?

Several different entities have the authority to levy property taxes. For Herriman residents, this includes the Jordan School District, Salt Lake County, Herriman City and its related entities (law enforcement and fire), the Jordan Valley and Central Utah Water Conservancy Districts, and the South Valley Sewer District.

To the right is an overview graphic that shows what entities charge property taxes, who controls the entities, what the funds pay for, and a sample annual payment. Click on it for a larger view. Entities proposing a tax increase for 2024 are highlighted in yellow. The exception is the Salt Lake County Library, which has already approved its increased rate.

Graphic showing step-by-step process how property taxes are determined each year in Utah.

How are property tax rates set in Utah?

The state of Utah is somewhat unique in how it sets property tax rates. In many states, property taxes are a simple percentage, and the amount paid every year is directly tied to how much properties are worth—if property values go up, then taxes paid go up. In Utah, however, taxes are designed to stay the same year to year, regardless if property values go up or down. How does it work?

Certified Rates

Taxing authorities submit a property tax revenue target to the State of Utah. County Assessors determine individual property values. The State uses the revenue target and the general trend of property values (information provided by counties) to calculate the appropriate rate to charge in taxes to achieve the target revenue during the year. This State-calculated rate is called the certified rate. Since property values change each year (usually increasing), tax rates are re-calculated every year. In a normal year, as long as a taxing authority doesn’t change their target revenue, the certified rate will stay the same or decrease from the previous year to offset rising property values. However, if a taxing authority wants to increase their target revenue, it will likely cause the State’s calculated certified rate to be higher than the previous year. If the rate is higher, then official notices must be mailed to residents and the taxing authority must hold a public Truth-in-Taxation hearing.

Once the final rate has been approved, property taxes will be paid during the following calendar year. For efficiency, taxes are paid to one central entity, the county. The county then disburses the tax revenue to the various taxing authorities throughout the year based on their rates. Those taxing entities and their governing boards may then expend the money based on their approved budgets.

Still have questions?

You can refer any further questions to Herriman City Director of Finance Kyle Maurer (801-758-7686 or