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Low tax penalty serves as cheap loan for some businesses

Lee Davidson of The Deseret Morning News used local records to show that "at least 443 land developers, real estate companies and construction companies owed more than a combined $5.17 million in back property taxes and penalties" as of January 2005. Ski resorts, an airline and telecommunications firm MCI are among the other tax delinquents in Salt Lake County, where some businesses elect not to pay taxes because the penalties and interest are low enough that "many businesses view it as a way to obtain relatively cheap and easy loans." State law assesses a 2 percent penalty on late taxes and interest around 8.25 percent last year.

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