Utahns will pay more for gas, online purchases in new year

Stock image | Photo by ArtemSam/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE New Utah tax law changes took effect New Year’s Day that will have you paying a little more when you shop online and fill up your gas tank.

Packages travel on a conveyor belt for sorting at the main post office in Omaha, Neb., Dec. 14, 2017. Utah and other states can now require shoppers to pay sales tax when they make online purchases. | Associated Press file photo by Nati Harnik, St. George News

The Utah State Tax Commission issued a series of bulletins Tuesday regarding the tax increases.

Online sales tax

The days of being able to buy something on eBay and other online retailers without paying state sales tax is coming to an end.

2018’s Senate Bill 2001, titled Online Sales Tax Amendments, requires that out-of-state retailers now collect sales tax on online purchases that are Utah-bound.

The new law repeals previous arrangements the state made with online or remote retailers to voluntarily collect sales tax that did not have a physical presence within Utah.

Read more: Utah Legislature passes requirement for online sales tax 

Gas tax

Drivers will be paying a little more at the gas pump this year. Utah has set its gas tax rate at 16.5 percent and state law requires the calculations for it be redone each year, which results in an increase of 0.6 cents for 2019.

The overall state gas tax for gasoline and diesel fuel is set at 30 cents.

Beaver County tax hike for roads and public transit

Plan to visit Beaver County? You’ll be paying an additional 0.25 percent sales tax for highway and public transit funding.

The tax hike is a part of a funding option provided by the state that will also become available to individual municipalities in counties that chose not to enact the sales tax option by June 20. The municipalities will be able to exercise the sales tax option on June 30, 2020.

A SunTran bus shows off its new look at the 2018 Dixie Regional Transportation Expo, Feb. 13, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The sales tax option has been touted as a way to fund public transit expansion in Washington County. However, Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson has stated the county is not in favor of enacting the tax.

Read more: Proposed sales tax increase back on the table as council discusses countywide transit system

Transient room tax

Washington City has enacted a 1 percent tax increase on rents for lodging, such as short-term rentals and motels, that provides public accommodations for less than 30 days.

“The municipality transient room tax is in addition to any county transient room tax and other state and local taxes,” the bulletin states.

The total transient room tax rate in Washington City for 2019 is 5.57 percent.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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  • Redbud January 2, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Hope you all enjoy paying the new taxes, and padding the pocket of the mayor who so graciously gave himself a raise. The cost of living has risen, but we get to keep the same low wages. Also enjoy what is to come when all these people move here and you get to pay for your brand new sparkly pipeline!

    • bikeandfish January 3, 2019 at 11:43 am

      None of the reported taxes here are associated with the issues you raise.

      • Redbud January 3, 2019 at 5:06 pm

        They are all tied together in some way so I disagree. Sorry.

        • bikeandfish January 3, 2019 at 6:07 pm

          You don’t understand tax infrastructure, do you? None of these fund the mayor or the pipeline. You might want to research the difference between municipal funding and state funding.

          And ironically, the Washington City mayor, ie the only one with a reported local tax in the pipeline region, only makes a measly $18k a year and wasn’t affected by the recent St George raises.

          • Redbud January 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm

            The people we elect can have influence on one another no matter what level they are at city, state, or nation. So therefore in some ways, yes it is all connected, so I still disagree with you.

    • tazzman January 3, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Well why you are complaining of low wages maybe you can point to UT as a right to work state as just one reason. It’s easy to lob bombs at the pipeline and the mayor’s salary, but those aren’t related to this. But wages are directly related to worker’s ability to collectively bargain or not.

  • utahdiablo January 2, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Remember that “Gas Tax” you thought you voted down last November?…well, yes, you did, but this Gas Tax was the one you all voted in about Three Years ago…enjoy the higher gas tax prices all this year!

  • SilentThunder January 2, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    The city officials gave themselves a raise claiming the price of living is going up, yet the REAL workers in our city are being paid WELL below the national average. Servers in restaurants are making 2.13 an hour, carpenters are making 12.00 an hour, I could go on and on. When is the church going to start paying working people a living wage instead of making them live off of church-funded assistance? They like to keep the people in need of their assistance to bolster their ranks.

    • Happy Commenter January 3, 2019 at 10:55 am

      This church you refer to, how is it that they are responsible for you working for minimum wage? If you are not satisfied with your pay, get a different job. QUIT CRYING!

      • tazzman January 3, 2019 at 5:09 pm

        A minimum wage is not what he means by a “living wage”. A minimum wage is not a livable wage.

      • SilentThunder January 3, 2019 at 8:13 pm

        The LDS church who puts these people in office, the same church who changes laws that are voted into place if they don’t deem them fit. What OTHER church could I even possibly talking about? The people who are voted into office get a boost from this church, the sheep who attend this church are told who to vote for. I have worked for UDOT and I can show you my certifications for it, I got paid half of what I was paid for working the same jobs in Colorado and Nevada. I am now a Network Admin after going back to school and making crap money for what I paid into. The state is corrupt with the LDS church running things. Yet if I join the cult they will help pay my rent and and feed my family. Bottom line, vote out these LDS officials and let people make a LIVING wage.

  • hiker75 January 3, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Gasoline in Michigan, $1.92. Honestly, I think gas station owners fix prices in meetings. That is what at least one employee at Fab Freddy’s has been told by the owner. Isn’t price fixing illegal? Perhaps a church tax? Cost of living is getting higher and higher. I really want an electric car.

    • Mike P January 3, 2019 at 11:21 am

      Hiker75, The more people that buy electric vehicles, the higher the prices of electricity will be and especially the TAXES on electricity will be due to the reduction of taxes collected on fossil fuel. There’s no getting around it.

    • Comment January 3, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      I can tell you from personal experience that electric cars are extremely impractical. If you live in a climate that is in the ‘goldilocks’ zone all year (maybe coastal calif.?) then maybe they’ll be fantastic, but if you ever intend to run the heat or a/c in the car then then battery power is simply inadequate and completely impractical. 😉

      • tazzman January 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm

        And that electric car is still recharged from electricity off of the grid, which is powered by fossil fuels. So many people buying these cars are actually contributing to fossil fuel consumption. Cars are simply one of many, many things requiring petroleum.

        • bikeandfish January 3, 2019 at 5:57 pm

          Yeah, I’ve never understood the obsession with electric cars unless they are 100% fueled by non-fossil fuel electricity. Its all the more relevant until we get a smart grid that doesn’t lose so much radiant energy.

          But most of the people that I know that own them also fly multiple times a year and own huge homes with no sense of irony given their concern about climate change.

          • Comment January 3, 2019 at 7:27 pm

            Yep, they are called ‘latte liberals’ and their electric cars are nothing more than virtue signaling. If I had a few mil to my name I might buy me one of those teslas. But I wouldn’t put on some show like I bought it to save the world from global warming or some hypocritical nonsense. A sense of irony isn’t required to be a hypocrite.


  • KR567 January 3, 2019 at 8:40 am

    LOL ….the mayor has no say in what your employer pays you so quit blaming the mayor for your low wages….you dont like what you’re getting paid then go get another job …..nobody says you have to keep your job and nobody said you have to stay here….

    get out from behind your keyboard and pack up all your stuff and feel free to leave ..and when you get to your next destination and you dont like what you’re getting paid there then you can complain to their mayor lol !

    • Comment January 3, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      LOL ‘striker’, I don’t know if anything in this world could be more ironic (or hypocritical) than you telling someone to go find a new job because they are unhappy with the pay. Your lifetime work history consists of what, playing videogames in mom’s basement. Hahahahahaha.

    • SilentThunder January 3, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      The officials of this fine city told Home Depot they could not build in the city of St George because they paid too much. That is why Home Depot is in Washington City. They do decide everything, you are ignorant.

      • SilentThunder January 3, 2019 at 8:19 pm

        KR#### You must be a California transplant, please pick your … up and go back. We don’t want you here.

        Ed. ellipsis

  • us12 January 3, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Silent Thunder,

    I completely agree that city Gov’t should NOT receive pay increases–this is a conflict of interest that they receive any significant pay at all.

    However, what “church” are you referring to? I am confused as to how any church got included in your message about wage issues?

    • tazzman January 3, 2019 at 5:13 pm

      Silent Thunder is placing part of the blame for our lax labor laws and protections for workers at the feet of the LDS church, whose members comprise a overwhelming majority of the political class in UT. Our politicians have tilted in favor of the employers over workers.

  • Mike P January 3, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Cool ! More new taxes. Add that to our health insurance that went up to over $800 this year. That really helps all us that are on a fixed income. Everything goes up and we stay the same. I’m sure local government hopes this will help price us out of southern Utah so we can make more room for the new folks.

  • bikeandfish January 3, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Both the gas tax and online tax seem fair. Untaxed online sales were always a glaring abuse of a loophole that ultimately decreased the competitiveness of local brick and mortar businesses. I have no problem paying sales tax to help fund our state and local needs. Per the gas tax, if its going to our roads than I’m all for it. Many are in desperate need of rehabilitation.

    • tazzman January 3, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      I actually don’t know how UT disperses their gas taxes. I would assume they go to UDOT and roads, but I’m not certain. I agree though that more direct costs to road repairs seems fair. It’s a bit of a user fee. Have the users of the road absorb some of that cost.

  • NorthwesternWildcats January 3, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    They can never have enough. Brag about a surplus but still want more. I do less shopping and driving now than ever before whether online or at brick and mortar stores so I’ll just keep my money instead of pumping it into the economy. Always will have some kind of tax and will never ever get rid of it. This country from the orange Cheeto at the top to the local government are a bunch of crooks that can’t manage a government at any level.

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