Starting Sunday, motorists will have to pay a new 3 percent tax on rental car bills in Salt Lake County, teachers should get a $1,000-a-year raise, and licensed child day-care workers must be fingerprinted and their prints recorded in the state crime computer.
Those are but three of the 45-odd new laws that take effect July 1. Most of the 328 laws passed by the 1990 Legislature and signed by Gov. Norm Bangerter became law April 23 - 60 days after the end of the general session.But most of the fiscal laws - those dealing with taxes, fines and budgeting - take effect at the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, the first day of the $3 billion 1990-91 state budget year.
The 3 percent rental-car tax was aimed at helping the Salt Palace. Salt Lake County commissioners, who oversee the facility, originally wanted the rental-car tax and a 5 percent tax on mixed liquor drinks - arguing that convention visitors rent cars and drink liquor. But lawmakers balked in the final days of the session in imposing a new tax on alcohol, although they did grant counties the authority to levy the 3 percent rental car tax.
Commissioners have already adopted the rental-car tax. Other county commissions can impose the rental-car tax also, as long as they use the tax revenue to promote tourism, rec-reation and convention business.
Legislators also said all public school teachers must get a $1,000 raise during the 1990-91 school year. The trouble is, legislators mandated the raise as part of the state school funding formula, and some districts now say they don't get enough state money to give $1,000 to all teachers. Final teacher pay rests with negotiations between individual school districts and teacher unions.
In an effort to stop criminals from getting jobs in child day-care centers, lawmakers also ordered all employees of licensed day-care centers to be fingerprinted. Those fingerprints will be stored in the state's crime computer and checked with fingerprints of convicted child molesters or any other felon.
Other new laws:
- All truckers will have to pay the state gasoline tax at the pumps when they fill up. Previously, trucking firms could estimate how much diesel fuel they purchased in Utah and send the State Tax Commission a check periodically for the tax. But some were cheating, officials say, costing the state's transportation fund $3 million to $5 million a year.
- All state employees will now accrue 2 percent per year retirement benefits. Some low-income state retirees will get a pension raise that could amount to several hundred dollars a month. And judges get increased retirement benefits.
- Respiratory-care practitioners, physician assistants and real estate appraisers must be licensed and certified.
- All school districts must begin standardized testing of students and report how well they're doing in educating children.
- Farmers and ranchers who lose livestock to bears or mountain lions can now be compensated for those losses by the state.
- There are now increased penalties for illegally dumping hazardous waste.
- Interstate telephone calls and access charges remain exempt from sales tax. Airplanes built in Utah for sale outside the state are exempt from the sales tax. And a new Tax Review Commission is created to study and watch over taxes.
- The state's Human Services Department can now license and control "youth programs," such as the Challenger Foundation's wilderness experience, that charge a fee, control the liberty of children in the program or limit parents' access to their children.