Council OKs $10 hike
With a 5-4 vote Wednesday the Council of Governments increased the cost to register a vehicle in Summit County by $10.
"I don’t like to raise taxes, but I think this is an opportunity for us," said Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme, who supported the increase. "When it’s all said and done, people will support it."
Officials expect the tax to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for purchasing rights-of-way to construct road corridors in the county.
But many Coalville residents are against the plan.
"My constituents are pretty much against the tax increase," Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt said. "They feel it is not a benefit to Coalville at all."
Schmidt joined Henefer Mayor Randy Ovard, Kamas Mayor Lew Marchant and Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer in voting against the tax hike.
"A lot of people feel like this was a done deal before it even started," Schmidt said. "The people of Coalville aren’t for it."
The new charge will begin appearing on motorists’ tax notices July 1.
"I’m going to bet you it goes from $10 to $100," Ovard said. "In my opinion, the negatives outweigh the positives."
But Summit County Commissioners Sally Elliott and Ken Woolstenhulme along with elected officials in Oakley, Park City and Francis supported the tax increase.
"I’ve got a split vote in my town," Francis Mayor John Bergen said before casting the deciding vote.
Critics say the funding will benefit only road projects in the Snyderville Basin where much of the area’s traffic gridlock exists.
"There are more needs out there than we have funds for," said Glen Brown, a member of a board that helps the Utah Department of Transportation administer the corridor-preservation fund.
Before she voted for the tax measure, Elliott insisted the extra $10 be charged for just one year.
"I certainly would like to re-evaluate it," she said.
The Council of Governments is comprised of the three Summit County commissioners and the mayors of Henefer, Coalville, Oakley, Kamas, Francis and Park City.
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