Vote YES on Props 9 and 10 to keep Summit County moving ahead
Park City and Summit County residents have almost always been willing to raise their own taxes to invest in the communitys future. Over the years they have approved measures that made it possible to build libraries, schools, recreation centers, parks and trails. In almost every case, those projects have become iconic attractions.
In this election, voters are being asked, once again, to pay more — this time to address the areas increasing traffic pressures. On the ballot that is currently in voters hands there are two propositions: one to raise funds to increase public transit options and another to improve roads and interchanges throughout the county. Each would increase the local sales tax rate by a quarter of one percent, or about 50 cents per $100 shopping spree. The tax would not apply to gas or groceries.
The cost is less than lots of local commuters burn up on a typical Monday morning while idling in a traffic jam. And if the propositions are approved, that weekday drive may go a little smoother, leaving the air a little cleaner, too.
If both are approved, it is anticipated that the two sales tax increments would raise about $8.4 million each per year. And since the revenue would be generated by sales taxes rather than property taxes, the burden would be shared, appropriately, by both residents and visitors.
Park City and Summit County staff and elected officials have put forward some dynamic proposals about how the money might be spent — covering a gamut of public transit and roadway improvements. Plans call for increasing service to and from Salt Lake City a great way to increase the seasonal employee base — and establishing regular bus service between the east and west sides of the county — a safer way for teens to get around, and a potential way for commuters from different parts of the area to get to know one another.
There are also plans on the drawing boards for new interchanges at problem spots along State Roads 224 and 248, a transit circulator to expedite Kimball Junction bus trips, park-and-ride lots near the I-80 exit at Jeremy Ranch and better access to the lot at Richardson Flat.
Of course, it wont all happen at once, but as those pennies stack up, so will the traffic. It is a sure bet that by the time those buses are rolling and the intersections are rebuilt, residents will wonder how they ever got around without them. And that means, those who voted yes on Propositions 9 and 10 will look back and know they made the right decision.
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Our view: Should Parkites continue to oppose the concept of building a toxic waste dump in their backyard, City Hall should walk away from the project.