ELECTIONS

Amendment B: property tax exemptions

Oct 16, 2018, 7:09 AM | Updated: Nov 8, 2022, 11:40 am
property tax amendment...
Getty Images: Salt lake City at sunrise, looking south toward the state Capitol.

SALT LAKE CITY — Voters will decide in November whether to give property tax exemptions to private property that the Utah state government or even city or county governments lease for official business.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment B is one of seven voter referendums on the Utah ballot in 2018. Under current law, property owned by the state or local government can be considered tax exempt, but that’s not true of all space used by the state and local governments. On occasion, governments lease space from private owners, and that property is subject to tax.

Property tax impact on budgets

The legislature’s fiscal analyst estimates voter approval of Constitutional Amendment B would save the state government around $1.8 million per year. However, it’s unclear how much local governments pay for leasing privately-owned space, and the analyst notes local governments would also wind up losing that tax revenue, which could result in property tax increases for everyone else.

Arguments in favor

Sen. Dan Hemmert, R-Orem, and Rep. Adam Robertson, R-Provo, wrote the argument in favor of passing Amendment B. They write, “It does not make sense to use taxes to pay taxes.”

They argue Amendment B would be “revenue neutral,” neither resulting in an increase or a decrease in revenue, but instead simplifying taxes, while making government more efficient and transparent.

Arguments against

Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, and Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, wrote the argument against approving Amendment B.

“If you lease land to the state, Amendment B will save you money,” they write. “If you are like the rest of us who do not, Amendment B will raise your taxes.”

Davis and Hollins argue that the number of people who would benefit from this property tax exemption is relatively small, while schools, cities and counties would be, in their view, forced to raise taxes on other residents to make up for the lost revenue.

Hemmert and Robertson counter that claim, arguing that it is the government tenant, not the property owner, who pays the tax and would benefit from the exemption.

A sense of Déjà Vu

Davis and Hollins point out Utah voters rejected a very similar proposal just a couple of years ago, so KSL did some fact-checking.

In 2016, voters defeated the Utah Property Tax Exemptions Amendment, known then as Amendment C, with a margin of 49.7% against the measure to 37.0% in favor. Not all voters filled in the information for Amendment C on their ballot, which is why that percentage does not add up to 100.

What happens in 2018?

If voters approve Amendment B, it would take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Elections

donald trump...
Kate Sullivan, Gabby Orr and Kristen Holmes, CNN

Trump says he’s ‘more angry’ and ‘more committed’ to White House bid as he breaks his campaign trail hiatus

Former President Donald Trump said he's "more committed" to winning back the White House as he hit the campaign trail after announcing a third presidential bid.
7 days ago
Sen. Karen Mayne...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah Dems to hold special election filling the seat of Sen. Karen Mayne

Utah Democratic will hold a virtual special election at 6 p.m. on Jan. 15, to fill the seat of Sen. Karen Mayne as she steps down due to health issues.
23 days ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) cheers in the House...
Clare Foran, Manu Raju, Annie Grayer, Melanie Zanona and Lauren Fox, CNN

House to hold 12th vote in longest speaker contest in 164 years

Originally Published: 06 JAN 23 05:07 ET Updated: 06 JAN 23 12:57 ET By Clare Foran, Manu Raju, Annie Grayer, Melanie Zanona and Lauren Fox, CNN     (CNN) — Kevin McCarthy is locked in a fight for his political future as the California Republican attempts to win the votes he needs to become speaker of the […]
1 month ago
Utah Congressman Blake Moore feels everyone has a different dog in the fight. Meaning, some politic...
Elizabeth Weiler

Voting for house speaker, Utah representative weighs in

Utah Congressman Blake Moore feels everyone has a different dog in the fight. Meaning, some politicians won't change their minds about McCarthy for personal reasons.
1 month ago
John Curtis...
Mark Jones

Rep. Curtis says Rep. McCarthy has experience to lead as House Speaker

Utah Rep. John Curtis says Rep. Kevin McCarthy has the experience to be House Speaker. This comes after McCarthy has failed to be elected after six rounds of voting.
1 month ago
Arizona judge orders Republican Kari Lake, pictured here, in Phoenix on December 18 to pay fees for...
Stephanie Becker, CNN

Arizona judge orders Kari Lake to compensate Katie Hobbs for some fees for election lawsuit, but declines to sanction her

An Arizona judge ordered Republican Kari Lake to reimburse Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs for legal fees stemming from Lake's challenge of the outcome in the state's race for governor.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Amendment B: property tax exemptions