Revenue and Taxation:
We didn’t have too much on this agenda. The committee discussed its goals to align Utah’s tax code with the Federal tax code. This brings up some real opportunities, namely that the Tax Commission suggested that we may need a special session in order to take advantage of the Federal Tax advantages, and that a special session would need to be held before July 1. If this is the case, this may give us the opportunity to address the gas tax- B&C road funding issue that is still plaguing Kane County.
We reached out to the Governor’s office again today to continue in our effort to get this rectified ASAP with a special session. We will keep pressing.
Additionally, we talked briefly about UAC’s efforts to address the personal property tax issues we started on last year. The assessors group has done a great job giving us a road map to use for negotiations on this topic. We are meeting with soon to be Senator Dan McCay this week to begin that process. So, as you can tell 2019 preparations are already well under way.
Also, during interims, UAC was asked to testify on three issues in Political Subdivisions. We spoke on the County Form of Government and the current county classification system, affordable housing, and indigent defense/criminal justice.
- Form of Government/Classification:
- The committee asked UAC to work with stakeholders to review the current classification system for counties to determine if they need to be updated. As more counties bound toward 3rd – 1st class status they begin to default out of many rural initiatives and programs currently in use. We may look to changing the current classes to allow counties in 4th-6th class to use those tools while achieving higher population. This issue was brought to us by Sanpete County, and we are all over it. Additionally, we provided an update on the efforts to change form, which is occurring in some counties.
- Affordable Housing:
- We spent considerable time talking about UAC’s effort to be a central repository for statewide RDA/CRA data and information, including information regarding the affordable housing requirement in all CRAs. A CRA is a tax incentive tool that is used to encourage development in cities/counties. We also talked about statewide programs being undertaken by UAC to create new local government tools to promote affordable housing. This issue has been brought to us by Salt Lake and Weber County, and we are all over this one as well.
- Indigent Defense and Criminal Justice:
- We also sought counsel from the legislature on how we should reform the current indigent defense services that are being funded and organized by counties. The committee chair, Sen. Thatcher, asked that we take a holistic approach to the criminal justice system when looking at indigent defense, court security funding, and jail funding as a part of this effort. CivLAc and the Attorneys group brought this issue to us, and we are now well underway on this topic as well.
The Transportation interim committee did discuss SB136, which allows counties to impose sales tax for transit/road projects. It was a brief presentation by UDOT that simply provided a status update. Also, UDOT introduced the new Deputy Director Terry Newell. She was promoted from the Region 3 office as a result of SB136 and the requirement to create a new planning department head at UDOT. It was pretty slow in transportation for this week.
That about does it for interims this week. Plenty going on as UAC continues to prepare for our new committee structure, by subject area. We will be hosting our first meetings on June 6th to get the 2019 legislative effort going in earnest.
If you have any questions or need anything else, please call UAC and we will be happy to answer any questions.