Hildale, Utah - The town council in the polygamous border community of Hildale voted to raise property taxes Tuesday night by a whopping 237 percent. The council did it to make up for a significant budget shortfall.
Hildale city officials said they have not raised taxes in 15 years. The tax hike means about $550 would be added to the annual bill for a home valued at $250,000.
Property in Hildale and neighboring Colorado City, Ariz. is communally owned. It is a part of the United Effort Plan Trust, which is the real estate holding arm of the Fundamentalist LDS Church. The UEP Trust was taken over by a judge in Salt Lake City 3rd District Court back in 2005, over allegations that Warren Jeffs and other FLDS leaders mismanaged it. On Tuesday, a court appointed accountant overseeing the trust objected to the tax hike.
"This proposed tax increase is unprecedented in size," said Bruce Wisan in a statement to FOX 13. "To the extent that the increase is being used to ship the tax burden to those who are actually paying their tax, it is totally discriminatory."
Wisan blamed delinquent tax payers in the community for much of the problem. He threatened to release a list of delinquent tax payers in the town, which he said included members of the town council and the mayor.