Constitution of the State of Utah

Taken from the Utah Road to Statehood See also modifications


Section 1. [Fiscal year.] The fiscal year shall begin on the first day of January, unless changed by the Legislature.

Sec. 2. [What property taxable. Definitions. Revenue.] All property in the State, not exempt under the laws of the United States, or under this Constitution, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as provided by law. The word property, as used in this article, is hereby declared to include monies, credits, bonds, stocks, franchises and all matters and things (real, personal and mixed) capable of private ownership; but this shall not be so construed as to authorize the taxation of the stocks of any company or corporation, when the property of such company or corporation represented by such stocks, has been taxed. The Legislature shall provide by law for an annual tax sufficient, with other sources of revenue, to defray the estimated ordinary expenses of the state for each fiscal year. For the purpose of paying the State debt, if any there be, the Legislature shall provide for levying a tax annually, sufficient to pay the annual interest, and principal of such debt, within twenty years from the final passage of the law creating the debt.

Sec. 3. [Legislature to provide uniform tax. Exemptions.] The Legislature shall provide by law a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation on all property in the State, according to its value in money, and shall prescribe by general law such regulations as shall secure a just valuation for taxation of all property; so that every person and corporation shall pay a tax in proportion to the value of his, her or its property: Provided, That a deduction of debts from credits may be authorized: Provided further, That the property of the United States, of the State, counties, cities, towns, school districts, municipal corporations and public libraries, lots with the buildings thereon used exclusively for either religious worship or charitable purposes, and places of burial not held or used for private or corporate benefit, shall be exempt from taxation. Ditches, canals, and flumes owned and used by individuals or corporations for irrigating lands owned by such individuals or corporations, or the individual members thereof, shall not be separately taxed so long as they shall be owned, and used exclusively for such purpose

Sec. 4. [Taxation of mines.] All mines and mining claims, both placer and rock in place, containing or bearing gold, silver, copper, lead, coal or other valuable mineral deposits, after purchase thereof from the United States, shall be taxed at the price paid the United States therefor, unless the surface ground, or some part thereof, of such mine or claim, is used for other than mining purposes, and has a separate and independent value for such other purposes; in which case said surface ground, or any part thereof, so used for other than mining purposes, shall be taxed at its value for such other purposes, as provided by law; and all the machinery used in mining, and all property and surface improvements upon or appurtenant to mines and mining claims, which have a value separate and independent of such mines or mining claims, and the net annual proceeds of all mines and mining claims, shall be taxed as provided by law

Sec. 5. [Local authorities to levy local taxes.] The Legislature shall not impose taxes for the purpose of any county, city, town or other municipal corporation, but may, by law, vest in the corporate authorities thereof, respectively, the power to assess and collect taxes for all purposes of such corporation.

Sec. 6. [Annual statement to be published.] An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public moneys, shall be published annually in such manner as the Legislature may provide.

Sec. 7. [Tax rate for state purposes.] The rate of taxation on property, for State purposes, shall never exceed eight mills on each dollar of valuation; and whenever the taxable property within the State shall amount to two hundred million dollars, the rate shall not exceed five mills on each dollar of valuation; and whenever the taxable property within the State shall amount to three hundred million dollars, the rate shall never thereafter exceed four mills on each dollar of valuation; unless a proposition to increase such rate, specifying the rate proposed, and the time during which the same shall be levied, be first submitted to a vote of such qualified electors of the State as, in the year next preceding such election, shall have paid a property tax assessed to them within the State, and the majority of those voting thereon shall vote in favor thereof, in such manner as may be provided by law.

Sec. 8. [Officer not to make profit out of public moneys.] The making of profit out of public moneys, or using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any public officer, shall be deemed a felony, and shall be punished as provided by law, but part of such punishment shall be disqualification to hold public office.

Sec. 9. [State expenditure to be kept within revenues.] No appropriation shall be made, or any expenditure authorized by the Legislature, whereby the expenditure of the State, during any fiscal year, shall exceed the total tax then provided for by law, and applicable for such appropriation or expenditure, unless the Legislature making such appropriation, shall provide for levying a sufficient tax, not exceeding the rates allowed in section seven of this article, to pay such appropriation or expenditure within such fiscal year. This provision shall not apply to appropriations or expenditures to suppress insurrections, defend the State, or assist in defending the United States in time of war.

Sec. 10. [All property taxable where situated.] All corporations or persons in this State, or doing business herein, shall be subject to taxation for State, County, School, Municipal or other purposes, on the real and personal property owned or used by them within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax.

Sec. 11. [State and county boards of equalization.] Until otherwise provided by law, there shall be a State Board of Equalization, consisting of the Governor, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Secretary of State and Attorney-General; also, in each county of this State, a County Board of Equalization, consisting of the Board of County Commissioners of said county. The duty of the State Board of Equalization shall be to adjust and equalize the valuation of the real and personal property among the several counties of the State. The duty of the County Board of Equalization shall be to adjust the equalize the valuation of the real and personal property within their respective counties. Each Board shall also perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 12. [Stamp, income, license, franchise, or mortgage tax permissible.] Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prevent the Legislature from providing a stamp tax, or a tax based on income, occupation, licenses, franchises or mortgages.

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