Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Salt Lake County's politically unpopular law enforcement fee is going away, to be replaced by a property tax assessment by the Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Service Area.

I've been a bit baffled by the flap over UPD fees, taxes or whatever you want to call them. My "public safety fee" of $25 per month was formerly collected on my water bill (along with a $5 "park maintenance fee"). My December 2011 bill notified me that future public safety costs would be collected annually by "SLVESA" as a line item on my property tax bill.

My initial reaction was to file amended tax returns for previous years to account for these de facto taxes ($360 per year for both). When my property tax notice arrived last month, as expected, the "sl vly law enforcement" line appeared.

Although it is significantly higher ($327.42) than the previous $240, at least someone admitted that this is a tax. We can now attend meetings and protest and fight the increases through our elected representatives — in keeping with the American tradition originating with the Boston tea party — and may be successful, but I'm glad, as with the Obamacare penalties, to have it recognized as a tax.

Jeff Chappell