Summit County places two taxes on ballot
- Sept. 6: Voters must file a request with the Summit County Clerk to provide arguments either for or against the ballot propositions by 5 p.m.
- Sept. 9: Voters must file arguments
- Sept. 26: Voters must file rebuttal arguments
- Sept. 26 – Nov. 4: Two public hearings will be held during County Council meetings
The November ballot grew on Wednesday for Summit County voters after County Council members unanimously agreed to place two tax proposals up for consideration.
Last month, a subcommittee comprised of Summit County and Park City Council members and staff recommended that Summit County ask voters to support an additional mass transit tax and county option sales tax to fund transportation-related projects over the next six years. County Council members had until Aug. 31 to consider adding the ballot initiatives.
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. Officials have emphasized that it does not apply to food items or gas and claim that nearly 90 percent of the taxes will be collected from tourists within the Park City limits.
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. Earlier this month, the Council of Governments and Park City leaders passed resolutions supporting the initiatives.
“The majority of it will be paid for by visitors and that amount is still low,” said Derrick Radke, Summit County public works director. “A lot of other counties have already implemented taxes that are allowed through the Legislature so when we go down to the Valley we are paying for their transportation.”
Summit County and Park City have crafted 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.
Several meetings have been held over the last several months to determine the best funding mechanisms for the projects. Each new tax is estimated to annually generate more than $4 million.
“We are giving them (voters) options,” said Roger Armstrong, County Council chair. “How they choose will be up to them.”
County Council members also approved an interlocal agreement with Park City Municipal on Wednesday outlining how the funds will be governed. The Park City Council did its part Thursday night, voting unanimously to approve the agreement.
In his presentation to the Council, Assistant City Manager Matt Dias said the agreement was the result of a lot of work by a lot of people.
“It’s a wonderful culmination of probably six or seven months of a lot of hard work on behalf of staff and elected officials, and the community,” he said. “I think we’ve talked with just about every single group out there — Historic Park City Alliance, lodging, rotaries — anyone and everyone who would engage with us on this issue.”
Voters have until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to request to file an argument either for or against the propositions. Arguments must be provided to Summit County Clerk Kent Jones no later than Sept. 9. Jones will select one argument from each side to include in the voter information pamphlet that is distributed to all county residents.
“The council has worked very hard over the past year, including joint meetings with Park City, the Council of Governments and other City Councils to come up with the language for the ballot measures,” said Tom Fisher, Summit County manager. “Through all that work and the feedback that they receive from all of those partnerships they made the decision to put those on the ballot for the November election.”
Public hearings 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.
To view the Summit County staff report and the two resolutions authorizing the ballot initiatives, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/3691.
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.