Kennecott mine slide may mean higher property taxes for residents, businesses

Posted at 5:15 PM, Apr 29, 2013

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – The landslide at Kennecott Utah Copper’s Bingham Canyon Mine may end up impacting Salt Lake County tax payers.

Kennecott’s assessed property valuation is expected to fall drastically because of the drop in production at the mine. Kennecott’s property taxes are dependent on the profit they make at the mine.

State law requires that taxing entities--such as the county government, Jordan School District and Unified Fire Authority--must receive the same amount of property tax revenue from one year to the next. The only way to make up the loss from Kennecott’s property taxes is to raise taxes on residents and businesses.

Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County mayor, said the decrease in property taxes is something outside of their control.

"What they've told us right now is we may see impacts to their output in the neighborhood of up to 50 percent of their projections, their original projections for 2013 may be cut in half due to this incident,” he said. So that will certainly have a ripple effect throughout our community that we have no control over."

Kennecott officials said they hope to have a plan for getting the mine back up to full production in place by August.

Related stories:

Kennecott: 50 percent reduction in copper production at Bingham Canyon Mine in 2013

Photos: Bingham Canyon Mine after landslide

Kennecott asking Bingham mine employees to take unpaid time off