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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- When Salt Lake County started talking about a temporary ban on billboards, the sign companies said it would cost them millions.
But when it comes time to pay property taxes on those billboards, the sign companies are getting a bargain.
Property tax assessments for billboards around the valley are generally between two-thousand and six-thousand dollars each -- little more than the cost of the materials and paint.
But space on those signs fetch a pretty penny from advertisers, so the county is now thinking that the tax assessments ought to go up.
Salt Lake County Assessor Lee Gardner is planning to discuss the idea with the Utah Tax Commission. He says it wouldn't be fair to tax billboards more just because people don't like them. But the companies themselves insist the signs are worth a whole lot more -- whenever government tries to take them down. He says they can't have it both ways.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)