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Utah: New Local Sales Taxes to Fund Prison Construction

  • Apr 3, 2015 | Gail Cole

 Prison bars: local sales tax can soon help fund construction of Utah prisons.

The governor of Utah has signed into law legislation that enables cities and towns to enact local option sales and use taxes to help fund the construction of new prisons operated by the Department of Corrections. The tax must be approved by majority vote of the legislative body of the city or town.


The local option sales and use tax may be enacted provided the new state correctional facility is located within the boundaries of the city or town and will have beds for at least 2,500 inmates. Construction on the facility must begin on or after May 12, 2015 (the tax cannot be enacted to pay for past prison construction projects).

The local option sales and use tax may not exceed a rate of 0.5% and applies to the most sales transaction, including on “amounts paid or charged for food and food ingredients if the food and food ingredients are sold as part of a bundled transaction attributable to food and food ingredients and tangible personal property other than food and food ingredients.” It may not be imposed on sales of motor vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, and modular, mobile and manufactured homes, or on transactions that are exempt under Utah Code Ann. § 59-12-104. See HB 454 for additional details.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.