Here are five tax and fee increases passed by the Utah Legislature:
More gas tax hikes • After increasing gasoline taxes by 4.9 cents a gallon in 2015, this year the Legislature again increased gasoline taxes. Senate Bill 276, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, increases gas taxes by 0.6 cents a gallon and 1.2 cents per gallon increased in 2019 and 2020 — totaling an estimated increase of $4.2 million in 2019 and $14.6 million in 2020. The law also allows for bigger annual hikes (16 percent as opposed to 12 percent) until a legal cap of 40 cents per gallon. This is a tax hike that promises to keep on taking.
Upping your phone bill • Prior to the Legislature passing SB 198, Utah already had the 16th highest wireless tax rate among the states. Welcome to the top 10! This bill, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper, increases the fees by $6.72 per phone line (landline and wireless) per year. Utahns will fork over another $18.7 million a year. Can you hear me now?
Increasing Fees of Off-Highway Vehicle Registration • House Bill 389, sponsored by Rep. Brad Last, increases the annual registration fees for ATVs and off-road motorcycles by 50 cents. Expected cost to off-road enthusiasts: $150,000 a year. The ride on the bumpy roads of life got a little more expensive.
Tax Headwinds for Tourism • Senate Bill 264, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Okerlund, imposes an additional 0.32 percent state transient room tax on hotels and Airbnb rentals. Expected take in increased taxes: $4.2 million in 2018 and $4.9 million per year after that. Welcome to Utah, Life Elevated — and Taxed!
Soaking drinkers • Tucked into the Zion Curtain reform legislation are millions of dollars of increased markups and renewal, training and license fees. House Bill 442, sponsored by Rep. Brad Wilson, raises markups and fees by $4.4 million in 2018 and over $5.1 million in 2019. The answer to the question, "What does it take to get drink around here?" is now, "A lot more than before."