Salt Lake County officials are once again trying to get the Legislature to allow counties to impose a utility franchise tax.
Cities have that authority and most Utah municipalities add 6 percent to telephone, natural gas and electricity bills. City fathers love the tax since it hits entities that don't pay property or sales tax - churches, non-profit corporations, schools and governments.Salt Lake County Commissioner Randy Horiuchi said the County Commission doesn't plan to make much net revenue on a franchise tax. The AMAX property problem has the potential of harming county property tax revenues. "We'll probably lower our mill levy to offset what we take in franchise tax," he said.
County lobbyist Allan Moll said the county would generate about $10 million from the franchise tax. It would only be levied against utility users in the unincorporated county. For example, if you lived in Salt Lake City you would only pay the cities 6 percent utility franchise tax, not the county's.