New Summit County sales tax rate goes into effect April 1
Increase puts Park City’s new rate as the second highest in the state
It’s no joke that Park City will soon have the second highest sales tax rate in Utah after the Mass Transit Tax and the county-wide tax options kick in today, April 1, with each adding .25 percent to most retail purchases.
In November, Summit County voters overwhelming agreed to pay an additional .50 percent or two pennies for every $4 spent on normal purchases, excluding unprepared food items and gas, to fund transportation-related projects. The state tax commission required a 90-day grace period after Jan. 1 to codify the new rate and notify businesses of the change.
The new sales tax rate within Park City and the Snyderville Basin will be 8.45 and 6.85 percent, respectively, making Park City’s the second highest rate in the state. Moab, in Grand County, has a sales tax rate of 8.60 percent. The sales tax for purchases on the East Side of the county will increase to 6.55.
Mike Holm, owner of The Market at Park City, said implementing the new rate does not create an added burden for him. He said the rate is adjusted through the store’s software system and most customers might not even notice the difference.
“If you’re buying $150 worth of groceries and $30 worth of nonfood items, you probably won’t break that down or even know,” Holm said. “But I think that this could have an effect on me a little bit because people still have the option of driving out to the Junction and getting a little less sales tax on their nonfood items.”
Matt Leavitt, Summit County’s financial officer, said rate will not likely impact “typical day-to-day purchases.” However, it will affect large purchases on other taxable items such as cars and appliances.
“The impact on your typical pocketbook as you go to the grocery store shouldn’t be significant because it is not taxing a lot of those items, but it should help your average county resident with transportation issues,” Leavitt said. “Even though the county is attempting to address those issues, they won’t occur overnight. This is a planning tool to help resolve some of the anticipated transportation issues.”
Leavitt said revenues from the new taxes will start to come in around June. He said he anticipates the county will collect about $1.1 million from each tax for the rest of 2017, although early estimates expected more than $4 million would be generated.
“I’m trying to be conservative for those first couple of months because when we have implemented new taxes in the past it has taken some time to see those revenues start to trickle in,” Leavitt said.
Revenues from each tax will support specific transportation-related improvements for infrastructure and transit service. An estimated $250,000 will be earmarked for the five East Side municipalities, according to Derrick Radke, Summit County’s Public Works Director.
Some of the projects that are planned for the county include a Kamas- to-Park City bus service, remote parking lots near Jeremy Ranch and Ecker Hill, and improvements to the Jeremy Ranch interchanges. Park City’s projects include improvements to State Road 248, a Bonanza Park Transit Center and a park-and-ride garage.
“We should start to see some of the transportation improvements and increased service this summer,” Radke said. “The Kimball Junction circulator and an intercept lot at Ecker Hill will be the first two projects right off the bat.”
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