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Salt Lake City Council considers sales tax hike

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The city council will vote Tuesday night on whether to enact a .5 percent sales tax increase.  If the tax proposal passes, you’d pay an extra nickel in sales tax for every ten dollars you spend in Salt Lake City.

While it is not a big tax hike, it is one that the city says it needs to pay for essential city services.

The city council discussed the proposal Tuesday afternoon in a work session, ahead of a 7 p.m. vote. If approved, the increase would take effect sometime in the fall.

There has already been public hearings on the issue, with mostly favorable support.

The half percent sales tax increase would generate an additional $33 million a year for the city.

The new revenue would go towards public housing, street repairs, expanded transit for UTA buses and add 50 new police officers to the force.

City leaders appear ready to pass the tax, especially since the majority of sales tax, comes from people who do not live in Salt Lake, but who benefit from city services.

The tax would not apply to food purchases or large items such as cars.

The city council is still considering whether residents will get to vote on a proposed bond that would bring in an additional $87 million a year.  That decision has to be made by August to get on the ballot.

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