Summit County Clerk’s Office receives statements only in favor of tax proposals
The Summit County Council is standing by its decision to place two tax proposals on the November ballot.
Last week, County Council members submitted a statement to the Summit County Clerk’s Office expounding on their views in support of Propositions 9 and 10– an additional mass transit tax and county option sales tax aimed at generating money for transportation projects over the next six years.
The Mass Transit Tax and the county-wide tax option would each add .25 percent, or one cent for every $4 spent, to the countywide sales and use tax. The taxes will not apply to food items or gas.
The two taxes are estimated to generate nearly $400,000 in the five East Side municipalities. In turn, the smaller municipalities could annually receive $250,000 for infrastructure improvements from a Small Municipality Transportation Improvement Fund Grant Program through the county-wide option.
County Council members say in their statement that the two propositions will generate significant revenues to allow the county to make “critical improvements to help alleviate congestion and enhance and increase transit services for long-term traffic and transportation solutions.”
“The two propositions also complement each other by funding strategic roadway improvements and accommodate and enhance expanded transit services,” the statement reads. “This comprehensive plan has been developed to solve regional problems with a strategic, proactive, and forward-thinking approach.”
County Council members emphasized that the funding from the mass transit tax could increase bus service throughout the county by creating a Kimball Junction circulator, adding a new Kamas to Park City and Express bus route, creating new remote park-and-ride lots, and making more and improved connections to the neighborhoods.
The group said that the county-wide tax option could help enhance operational and safety improvements on State Roads 224 and 248 through dedicated bus and HOV lanes, Interstate 80 interchange improvements, and intersection and access improvements.
Summit County and Park City staff have spent several months crafting a list of prioritized projects to implement if the taxes are approved by voters. Some of the projects that are earmarked for the county include: a Kamas-to-Park City bus, remote parking lots near Jeremy Ranch and Ecker Hill and improvements to the Jeremy Ranch interchanges. Park City’s projects include improvements to State Road 248, a Bonanza Park Transit Center and a park-and-ride garage.
The County Council’s statement of support was one of two that were received before the deadline, according to Summit County Clerk Kent Jones.
The Park City Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau submitted the second statement in support of the initiatives. No opposition statements were submitted before or after the deadline. Voters had until 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, to file an argument.
Jones said the County Council’s statement will appear in the voter pamphlet guide that will be sent out next month. He said only one statement from each side can appear in the pamphlet.
“It’s important to remember that there is nothing to say a group couldn’t publically come out in favor or opposition of the initiatives,” Jones said. “Anyone can come out and put an editorial or say we are in favor or opposed to this.”
Those statements, however, won’t be in the pamphlet.
Public hearings on the tax proposals are expected to be held during two County Council meetings sometime between Sept. 26 and Nov. 4. The meetings are expected to be held on each side of the county.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.