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SALT LAKE CITY -- A recent veto by Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon may have accidentally opened the door to a huge tax cut. It's the latest round in a budget balancing fight.
Corroon wanted to eliminate a $5 million tax hike approved by the Salt Lake County Council. It would have boosted taxes $10 on a $250,000 home.
But county democrats and the county council attorney, Karl Hendrickson, say the veto will wipe out not only the tax hike, but all tax rates and $20 million in spending cuts that were approved at the same time. Hendrickson released a legal opinion on the matter Monday.
Democratic Councilman Joe Hatch says this could expose the 2009 budget to an "unmitigated disaster." Corroon and the county attorney do not believe that will happen.
Corroon calls it "much ado about nothing."
"It was always intended that the council would then come back and reset a lower tax rate. So, that's all they need to do. It just needs to be rectified by the council, which always had to be done anyway," he told KSL.
"We want to fulfill what the mayor's intent is," Hatch said. "It's just going to be tricky."
Hatch says Corroon goofed and should have used the line item veto.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports Hendrickson urged the council to consider an override, which could keep in place the veto of the tax increase.
Corroon says he'd rather shore up the county budget with cuts over a tax hike.