Voters in two counties in Utah last week handily approved ballot
questions to raise their sales tax by a quarter-cent to pay for road and
transit projects. Revenue also will be used to help fund the Mountain View
Salt Lake County voters approved Proposition 3 by a margin
of about 64 percent to 36 percent. Utah County residents approved their opinion
question by a slightly larger margin, 69 percent to 31 percent.
For Salt Lake County, a quarter of the tax increase is
earmarked to fund preservation of routes for future roads, namely the Mountain
View Corridor. Local officials will decide how the rest of the money is
dedicated for transportation.
Utah County will spend 87 percent of the tax income to build
commuter rail. About 8 percent will be used for highway construction, while the
remaining 5 percent will fund other transit projects, the Deseret Morning
After projects are ranked for necessity in the counties
state lawmakers will approve a process for choosing what work will be done. The
Legislature's Executive Appropriations Committee was scheduled to meet Tuesday,
Nov. 14, to being debate about the process.
Supporters said the tax increases will help speed
construction of needed transportation projects to help reduce gridlock and slow
movement of goods, the Morning News reported. The questions in both
counties had no organized opposition.
- By Keith Goble, state legislative editor