Salt Lake County Approves Local Transportation Ballot Issue

The Salt Lake County Council has authorized a local option sales tax on the November 2015 ballot. The sales tax option of a quarter-cent, or one penny for every four dollars, would pay for local roads, bus service, trails and sidewalks. 

“We applaud Salt Lake County for putting this issue to voters,” said David Golden, chair of the Utah Transportation Coalition. “Utah’s voters are smart. A vote for the local option is a vote to strengthen the economy, improve our air quality and to enhance our quality of life.”
Cities and counties throughout Utah are facing a growing population, deteriorating roads and budgets that are failing to keep up with mounting maintenance costs. All over Utah the need for new funding is visible along roadways and sidewalks where governments have been unable to keep up with the cycle of deterioration. Add to that the gaps in transit service and demands for expanded bike and walking trails to improve our air quality. The result: longer commutes, increased maintenance costs, hampered economic growth and a diminished quality of life. 
“Transportation is the backbone of our economy. If the economy is doing well, Utah families are doing well – we have good jobs, good incomes, and we all benefit,” Golden said. “For this reason, the business community is 100 percent behind the local option ballot initiative.”
“Businesses understand that fiscally responsible investment in maintenance and preservation saves money by avoiding higher costs later,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Every dollar invested in preventative road maintenance saves $10 to $25 in costly future work. Simply put, the cost of doing nothing is far higher for the average Utah family than the local option.” 
According to data recently released by TRIP, a national transportation research group, driving on poor roads costs Utah drivers more than $600 annually in additional fuel consumption, tire wear and extra maintenance.