House Republicans want Democrats to give them a sign where they stand on proposed solutions to the property tax inequity caused by a Utah Supreme Court decision involving AMAX Corp., a Utah magnesium mining company.
"Craig (Moody, House speaker) would at least like to know what what we're leaning toward," said Minority leader Frank Pignanelli, D-Salt Lake, during the Democratic caucus Thursday.But Democrats said they are reluctant to make a decision until they have more information from the entities the solutions will impact: government, businesses and homeowners. Democrats promised to invite government and private officials who could be effected by the tax shifts to the group's next meeting.
The tax dilemma occurred because the state's high court ruled AMAX Corp. was taxed unfairly. The company was entitled to the same 20 percent discount given to homes and local businesses. Some $56 million in taxes hangs in the balance - the 20 percent ordinarily paid by large multicounty companies.
Under a plan devised by Rep. John Valentine, R-Orem, tax on the average home in Salt Lake County would increase about $12 and tax on a vehicle would go down about $4. Meanwhile, tax on business buildings would increase $458, but the tax on business equipment would decrease $197.
Pignanelli said at least two other plans are under consideration, one of which requires an estimated 11 percent increase in locally assessed properties such as shopping malls but holds homeowners harmless.