FARMINGTON — The sales tax rate in Davis County will be going up.
A state statute dating back many years permits implementation of the county option sales tax for transportation, and Weber, Utah and Salt Lake counties, among others, already had it, Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson said Friday. Leaders from Davis County’s cities favor it, too, which led to the commission’s Jan. 15 decision to approve the tax hike.
“Everybody has this and Davis County didn’t,” Stevenson said.
It’s been an on-and-off topic of debate over the past 1 1/2 years in meetings of the Davis Council of Governments, made up of leaders from across the county. No public hearings are required, though, Stevenson said, and commissioners approved the change via ordinance, with all three of the county officials, Stevenson, Randy Elliott and Lorene Kamalu, favoring the increase.
Added to the current combined sales and use tax rates in Davis County, which range from 6.75 percent to 6.85 percent depending on city, the increase will boost the overall rate to 7 percent to 7.1 percent. The comparable rate in most Weber County cities, where the sales tax is already assessed, is 7.1 percent, with a cumulative rate of 7.3 percent in Riverdale.
The new tax will generate a little more than $12 million per year for Davis County, Stevenson said, and, per the statute, the money must be used for transportation projects. With the coming of the West Davis Corridor, funds could potentially be tapped to help build connectors into the planned roadway. But it will be up to COG officials to select projects and Stevenson foresees creation of a special group to help sort the possibilities, potentially by year’s end.
Stevenson emphasized what he said would be the limited impact of the new tax, a bump of 2.5 cents on purchases of $10. “It’s not a lot. ... It’s really not a big impact,” he said. Moreover, he noted that visitors traveling into Davis County from other places and making purchases will pay it.
The new tax is separate from the 0.25-percent sales tax earmarked for transportation projects per Proposition 1, approved by Davis County voters in 2015.