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Day 30: Truth in Bonding

Rep. Greg Hughes is sponsoring HB393, also known as Truth in Bonding.


HB393 will require local governments to disclose to voters the property tax impact if proposed bonds are approved by voters, unless the impact is less than $15 per year on a primary residence of average value. The following language will appear on the ballot proposition

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE DUE TO BOND ISSUANCE
The (name of the taxing entity) passage of the proposition means that the tax on a(insert the average value of a residence in the taxing entity rounded to the nearestthousand dollars) residence would increase from $______ to $________, which is$_______ per year.
Passage of the proposition means that the tax on a (insert the value of a business havingthe same value as the average value of a residence in the taxing entity) business wouldincrease from $________ to $_______, which is $______ per year."

HB393 is a good government bill. Most taxpayers probably thought such a requirement already existed. Last year, the Salt Lake County council voted to place an $895 million bond on the November ballot. The proposed ballot language did not indicate the impact of bond approval to property owners. (The county later withdrew the proposed property tax-backed general obligation bond and proposed a 0.25% sales tax increase instead, which voters approved.)

When voting on a proposed bond, taxpayers need to know the cost of proposed bonds to their homes and businesses.

In other news, the 2007 legislative session is now two-thirds over, but most of the work remains to be done. The new revenue projections will probably increase the size of the tax cut.

Disclaimer: Like all legislation, HB393 may eventually be modified, meaning that the above points may no longer be 100% relevant.

Greg Hughes: Utah's most prominent conservative metrosexual

Because I have always found the Utah Taxpayers Association to be very concerned about accuracy, it is important to note that I was not the person who raised concerns about HB 393 at the recent Utah State Board of Education meeting, as reported in Senator Stephenson's "Enterprise" article.

The concerns about the bill came directly from a bond attorney to Finance Director Larry Newton. Mr. Newton and Patrick Ogden (Associate Superintendent and school finance guru) expressed their concerns about the "substantially" language (line 38)in the bill. Mr. Ogden confirmed with Legislative Counsel John Fellows that existing language in the bill satisfied the bond counsel's question. The State Board of Education did not request a veto of the bill nor pursue initial concerns.

I would never presume to be an expert in bonding.

Carol Lear, J.D.

Because I have always found the Utah Taxpayers Association to be very concerned about accuracy, it is important to note that I was not the person who raised concerns about HB 393 at the recent Utah State Board of Education meeting, as reported in Senator Stephenson's "Enterprise" article.

The concerns about the bill came directly from a bond attorney to Finance Director Larry Newton. Mr. Newton and Patrick Ogden (Associate Superintendent and school finance guru) expressed their concerns about the "substantially" language (line 38)in the bill. Mr. Ogden confirmed with Legislative Counsel John Fellows that existing language in the bill satisfied the bond counsel's question. The State Board of Education did not request a veto of the bill nor pursue initial concerns.

I would never presume to be an expert in bonding.

Carol Lear, J.D.

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