Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Salt Lake City has been ranked seventh on Livability.com’s latest Top 100 Best Places to Live.
Not-so-great expectations for Salt Lake County’s economy
Salt Lake County » Sequestration, Kennecott shocks make recovery continue at slower pace.
First Published Oct 22 2013 07:26 pm • Last Updated Oct 22 2013 09:17 pm

Kennecott’s landslide and spending cuts driven by federal sequestration helped put a midyear dent into Salt Lake County’s economic recovery, which is still improving, just not as much as before.

Taxable sales in the county fell below expectations in the quarter ending June 30, prompting county financial analysts to lower their revenue forecasts for the year. Instead of the 7 percent growth rate foreseen in June, county income levels now are more likely to be 5.1 percent, finance officer Lance Brown told the County Council on Tuesday.

At a glance

Canyons zone accepted

A recommendation to create a zone specifically for resorts in Salt Lake County’s canyons was among several proposals made by a grass-roots committee, which spent 15 months evaluating the ordinance known as FCOZ — for Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone.

The “blue-ribbon commission” appointed by then-county Mayor Peter Corroon delivered its report Tuesday to the Salt Lake County Council.

Now comes the tricky part: crafting language that describes what can be done in a resort zone, winter and summer, and what boundaries there would be. The county planning staff is expected to have a revised ordinance available by early next year.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Even with that tempered outlook, he said sales-tax revenues remain higher than for the same period in 2012. Employment is up in every sector but government. And after three years of zero growth in property-tax receipts, the county expects to see a 1 percent boost this year.

Consultant Doug Macdonald, former chief economist for the Utah Tax Commission, added that "2014 could be a much better year" if residential housing construction doesn’t lag behind expectations like it did this year.

Early predictions of close to 20 percent turned out optimistic. Taxes from residential construction are up a respectable 9 percent, Macdonald said, but that’s not 20 percent. Still, he believes the trend looks good for the market to pick up next year.

Macdonald’s economic analysis predicted overall taxable sales in 2014 will rise 6.2 percent. He attributed the bounce-back partly to the idea that "business-equipment sales will get a boost if Rio Tinto’s landslide problems abate, production stabilizes and returns to normal levels."

Brown noted that sales taxes associated with wholesale durable goods fell 17.4 percent in the second quarter. Much of that involves outside businesses that equip and service Kennecott’s system across the foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains. Those operations were scaled back significantly after the early April slide temporarily halted mining in the Bingham Canyon pit. Production was restored a week later, but at a fifth of the previous amount.

Military contracts, which slid because of sequestration, also figured into the decline in durable-goods sales, Brown added.

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribmikeg


story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.