Update on new 4th .25 Sales Tax Increase
I just returned from MAG (MountainLand Association of Government) meeting the other night where some of our county mayors, commissioners and other members got together to discuss and vote IN FAVOR or AGAINST putting this new .25 sales tax on November 2015 ballot for a citizens vote. If the majority votes in favor, this will move to our Utah County Commissioners later this month, allowing them to vote FOR or AGAINST putting it on the November 2015 ballot.
Over the past few days we have heard that Salt Lake County, Wasatch County and a few others voted to put this new sales tax on their ballot.
HB362 , now law in 2015, is a two part law. First, it raised the gas tax that funds our ROADS. Second, it gives the option for Counties to put a new .25% Sales Tax increase (the 4th one) on this Novembers ballot.
HB362 - .25 sales tax increase splits up this way…..
1. .10 - Cities to use for ROADS or MASS TRANSIT
2. .10 - UTA for MASS TRANSIT
3. .05 - Utah County for MASS TRANSIT
After a presentation by UTA showing all the mass transit UTA will provide our county, we heard PG Mayor Mike Daniels ask UTA to show them the amount of current riders and UTA couldn’t give him the info. Hurray for Mike
Then, we heard from Commission Greg Graves as he told the mayors that a recent survey they did showed that this .25 Sales Tax Increase will never get voted in, there are to many citizens who are fed up with UTA, mass transit and the constant taxing, even for roads. He also said that spending the extra tax funds (we understand it will cost tax payers over $350,000 to hold an out of year county vote on the issue) is probably not a good idea. We heard that only six Utah County cities voted in a resolution this year in support of this sales tax increase and that is no where near a majority of cities behind this tax increase. He said that the mayors and city councils would have to get behind this tax increase and promote it as a benefit to the cities for their road funds or it will never pass.
Commissioner Bill Lee argued against the sales tax increase....yeah Bill!!
Then it was the mayors turn to debate. Several mayors said they were fine with the road funds this would bring the city, but the fact that this came with automatic mass transit UTA tax funds, they would not support it. The debate kept going and they ran out of time for a real vote. They only have seven days to decide or it’s out for this year. Then, they ended the meeting, telling the mayors to ‘email the county their vote’. and it was over.
I happened to talk to our PG Mayor Mike Daniels after, he was upset, and rightly so, that this was a public meeting and the vote should be in front of the public by law and for transparency reasons and this voting via email is wrong. Hurray again Mayor Daniels. I left , knowing he would argue the issue, but not sure how it would turn out.
So, as for now, it doesn’t look like sales tax increase this will make it on the ballot for 2015. But don’t worry, the county plans on doing a full year ‘education campaign’ to persuade the citizens on the benefits of tax funded mass transit and the wonderful UTA and high taxes for a teeny, tiny little bit of road money in PG. We did research and found that if this passed, we would be paying taxes of $10 million dollars to mass transit/UTA, we will receive somewhere around $300,000 a year, they think to use for our roads. There are other ways to get ROAD funds for PG without taxing the citizens for mass transit and giving our money to UTA. We could do a city road fee, or put certain city tax in place to get more road money if the citizens really want it.
PG City Council, Mayor and city heads have said they are FOR this HB362. Here is the resolution our city signed, we were one of the six.
City Council Benjamin Stanley is the only one who voted NO for both mass transit, sales tax resolutions....YEAH BEN!!!!
June 9, 2015 City Council passed Resolution 2015-020. Scroll to page 22 -
Again in January 2015 - Passed another resolution here.....
You get to decide for yourself, then let them know where you stand.
Reported by Lisa Liddiard
PGVoices for responsible government following Constitutional principles. True Conservatives who stand for private property rights, limited government and a free market economy. This blog will be a combined effort to give you easy to understand researched local government information.