BOUNTIFUL - Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful told the Davis Clipper Friday morning that he has decided not to seek a third term in the Utah House of Representatives.
“It’s purely a business decision,” he said. “I need to focus my energies on my business.”
He is a partner of CRSA. an architectural/planning/interior design and landscaping firm in Salt Lake City.
“It’s been a tough decision. I’ve really enjoyed serving,” Nielson said.
The business has more than 60 employees, down from 75 in 2008 before the recession, but on the upswing from a low of 45, Nielson said.
“I owe it to them (employees) to focus more attention on the firm,” he said. “It’s no secret that the demands of being in office are significant.”
For the upcoming session which begins in late January, Nielson is preparing legislation that would change the way sales taxes are distributed to cities and counties.
It would factor in sales tax collections on Internet sales, something the federal government is still considering.
The overall sales tax formula distribution for cities and counties would change from a 50/50 point of origin and population factor. It would retain half of sales tax collected in a city staying there, but change to 25 percent by point of sale and 25 percent based on fair market property value.
“It keeps the population factor, which is very egalitarian, but modifies the incentives and tools,” he said.
For a city such as Bountiful, it would add slightly less than 5 percent in sales tax revenue - just under the projected average increase that government entities would receive.
The hike in revenue would be generated by the addition of Internet sales.
The bill is intended to limit the desire in some areas of the state for cities to annex an area from the unincorporated county which may have a big box store, and resultant sales tax revenue, Nielson said.
“It should make a fundamental change in the way cities plan for the future, both in term of zoning and annexation,” he said.
The said there has been some support for the proposal from the Utah League of Cities and Towns and Utah Association of Counties.
Nielson and his wife Mary have five children.
Nielson’s father Howard was a four-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1991. Prior to that, he served in the Utah House of Representatives.
“I always admired what my father did, absolutely was inspired by my father,” Nielson said.
“I’m really surprised. I thought he was a very dedicated servant at the Legislature, worked hard. He came to Bountiful a lot, trying to understand our needs, and how he could help," said Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson. “I think he was a real friend to us, and our community, and we’ll miss Jim.”