Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Zoning for Dollars

An article in the Deseret Morning News talks about a new law to take effect on July 1, 2006. The law will change the way that sales tax is distributed to municipalities. Woods Cross is mentioned in the article as one of 10 cities that must conform to a unified method of collecting sales tax.
The article quotes Murray Mayor Dan Snarr as saying, "I worked so hard to bring online all these wonderful retail benefits, But I don't reap any benefits from it. I don't get the sales tax." This law really shouldn't come as a surprise to Mayor Snarr. This is something that was talked about by the Utah League of Cities and Towns in 2001. They titled it then, "Zoning for Dollars." There was even a report given by Senator Bell to the ULCT Legislative Policy Committee in November of 2003 that talked about his ideas to change the distribution formula. This isn't something new.
I would be very surprised if Woods Cross has to raise property taxes to deal with this new law. The City Recorder in Woods Cross when I was on the council was very well aware of the possibility of these changes coming. In my opinion, any city that must raise property taxes because of this law has not been fiscally responsible in the past.
Zoning for dollars has always been, and always will be, a bad thing.

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