Proposal Would Exempt Active Duty Service Members from Property Taxes

(KCPW News) A proposal to exempt military personnel from paying state property taxes while on active duty got broad support in a House committee Monday. House Joint Resolution 12 is sponsored by Republican Representative Stephen Sandstrom, who says the legislature should do more than simply honor servicemen and women for a day.

“We need to say thank you by giving them something in return from the people of the state of Utah to say thank you,” he said. “This is a great way to do it, by saying that if you are deployed overseas or outside the state, you will be given a property tax reprieve during the time of your service.”

But in order to do that, the state would need to pass a constitutional amendment, which requires the measure be placed on the ballot for voters to decide. Sandstrom says the property taxes would be shifted to other taxpayers, so the exemption wouldn’t affect state revenues.

“So what would happen is if let’s say the state lost $2 million in property tax revenue or entities, than there would have to be a shift of that $2 million,” he tells KCPW. “And right now they’re estimating about a 17 cent per month per household. A little under $2 a year it would cost the taxpayers.”

The exemption only covers one property, the primary residence of the service member and his or her spouse. Democratic Senator Luz Robles is running a similar bill with Sandstrom as the House sponsor.