Oakley leaders say ‘no’ to local sales tax increase
June 12, 2015
Oakley city officials decided they would not support an increase to the local sales tax to fund transportation projects in the county after a short discussion Thursday night.
City Council members unanimously agreed not to sign a resolution that would have signified the city’s support in favor of the county-wide tax option going on the November election ballot.
The county is seeking the support of the municipalities to show a "united front" in putting that on that ballot to show the funds are needed for transportation, Matt Leavitt, Summit County accountant, said.
The local sales tax option is a result of the passing of HB 362, which was approved by Utah lawmakers during the recent legislative session to support funding local transportation projects. The Utah Transportation Coalition referred to the bill as the "most comprehensive" piece of transportation legislation.
HB 362, a two-part bill, changes the gas tax rate to a fixed 12 percent and allows local jurisdictions to implement a .25 percent increase to the local sales tax on goods and services if it is approved by voters in a local election. The money generated through the tax can only fund transportation projects.
The .25 percent would be redistributed county wide, with .10 percent going to the municipalities and the unincorporated areas of Summit County, .05 percent going to the county, and .10 percent going to the Park City and Snyderville Basin transit districts.
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The .10 percent that would go toward the municipalities and unincorporated areas is subject to a distribution formula based on population and point of sale. Based on analysis by the Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT), Oakley would receive approximately $15,600 from an increase to the sales tax and $10,700 from the gas tax. Leavitt said the estimate is a little high and said it would likely be closer to $11,000.
During the council members’ discussion Thursday night, they considered whether the city even needs the funds that would be generated since the city doesn’t have a transit center or multiple roads to support, like Park City.
After about 10 minutes on the topic, the five-member council decided not to sign the resolution in support of the sale tax option.
No other municipality has signed the resolution. However, during the Summit County Council of Governments meeting last monthKamas Mayor Lew Marchant, Park City Mayor Jack Thomas and Coalville Mayor Trever Johnson each said they would support the measure. Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme was at the meeting, but didn’t provide any indication of his stance at the time. The mayors of Francis and Henefer weren’t there.
Henefer city officials will have the same conversation to address the resolution on Tuesday, July 7 at 7 p.m. at the Henefer city offices, 150 W Center Street.
For more information about the bill, go to http://le.utah.gov/~2015/bills/static/HB0362.html.