Bill to raise UTV registration and lower property tax passes committee unanimously

Bill to raise UTV registration and lower property tax passes committee unanimously (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV)- A bill to raise the cost of UTV and off-highway vehicle registration while lowering property taxes passed the House Committee unanimously Wednesday.

Representative Mike Noel’s HB 143 had the support of the citizen activist group UTV Utah.

“Our goal with HB 143 is to redirect those funds, put it into the off-highway vehicle fund, and use it for counties that do have trail systems,” the group’s vice president, Brett Stewart, said.

Stewart and co-founded, Bud Bruening, helped Noel draft the bill after learning only $2 million of the estimated $20 million the state receives in registration fees was actually going to the parks department to pay for trail maintenance.

“We’ve been asking the question, where is our money, for many years and we haven’t - even today - been able to find where the funds are.”

Under the new proposal, registration fees would go directly to the counties with the most off-road trails and UTV resources.

“In Piute County, there’s probably 2,000 miles of trails and probably only a handful of registered ATVs. So they’re basically struggling to maintain the trails. Where SLCo is very wealthy with the money they receive, but we have zero miles of trails,” Stewart said. “If [Salt Lake County] wanted to build a trail system, we’d love to do it. And then they would qualify for the money.”

Stewart helped draft a bill last year that allowed street legal ATVs to use certain low-speed roads in Salt Lake County.

Another bill this session, HB 114, would up the speed from 45 mph to 50 mph and essentially create a continuous path throughout the state.

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