Home News Bill to tweak property taxes and water use is advancing on Utah’s Capitol Hill

Bill to tweak property taxes and water use is advancing on Utah’s Capitol Hill

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Riverton, Utah — A bill designed to change the way water is paid in the Utah property tax bill is underway at Capitol Hill, Utah.

Senator Dan McCay of R-Riverton has proposed a major change in the method and scope of property tax calculations in the light of the drought emergency facing Utah.

“How do you take and pass the final cost of providing water to all users of water?” He said in an interview with FOX13 News on Wednesday.

The majority of property tax invoices cover water (separate from the water charges required by the municipality). Senator McKay, who chairs the Utah Senate’s Revenue Tax Commission, has proposed a change.

“If you look around the community, you can see that water is wasted for a variety of reasons,” said Senator McKay, arguing that the tax would be readjusted to pay only for what people used. Did.

The end effect could mean that some businesses that didn’t have to pay property taxes or water to use now have to spend a little money. This may include government buildings, churches, and other nonprofits.

“Looking at the amount of water we’re paying for water along the Wasatch Front, we’re really stealing water anyway,” said Senator McKay. “The only thing we really have to adjust that interest to think we need to save more is to have a cost that reflects the risk of running out of water.”

Senator McKay’s Proposal First introduced at a meeting of the Utah Taxpayer Association earlier this yearVarious reviews have been received.

“If you spend a lot of water, you have to pay. I think it’s fair. We can all play our part,” said the Head of Friends of Great Salt Lake, Environmental Group. Lin de Freitas said.

She said In light of the Great Salt Lake setting a new recordUtah needs to reassess how it treats property taxes and water.

“I think the public needs to understand the true cost of water. So far, it’s mostly hidden in property taxes,” de Freitas told FOX13 News. “And I hope we can help the general public know what the cost is, what they don’t need to use, and how much it will cost.”

However, some major water suppliers are concerned. The Central Utah Water Conservancy District said property taxes would cover some major capital infrastructure improvements.

“No water charges are paid for post-wildfire forest and wilderness restoration, river and stream recreational flows, water plans, etc.,” said KC Shaw, deputy director of the district.

The Central Utah Water Reserve is in talks with Senator McKay about the pending law and believes that some agreement can be reached, but wants to ensure that the infrastructure is covered. ..

“We believe that the right combination of property taxes and reasonable water rates is the best source of funding for operating a water system,” Shaw added. All states benefit, even if they do not receive water. “

Mr Shaw said he supported the idea of ​​paying a significant percentage of the water used by organizations such as nonprofits. Other organizations like the Utah League of Cities & Towns wanted to see the overall impact before deciding whether to support the bill. The Utah Taxpayer Association, a tax watchdog group, upheld Senator McKay’s bill, claiming it was “fair” to everyone.

“I think everyone expects your water rights to lead to use after we submit the bill, and capital projects will be included in those fees,” Senator McKay said. Said.

He hopes the bill will be published by November. The legislative meeting of 2023 will begin in January.

“There are still ways to fund water projects in the state. These improvements will be needed,” said Senator McKay. “They will also be needed for conservation. What we need to make sure is to start changing our behavior as users. Not just paying for what we are using. We also need to change our behavior as we do. Reduce usage. “

This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaboration, a solution journalism initiative that works with news, education, and media organizations to inform people about the Great Salt Lake plight. What can you do to make a difference before it’s too late?Read all our stories at greatsaltlakenews.org..

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