August 8, 2019
With Sweetwater communities already talking about the need for a sixth-penny tax to complete projects within the county, a discussion took place on how the process to obtain tax approval works.
At the Sweetwater County Commission meeting Tuesday, the commissioners asked Sweetwater Deputy County Attorney John Deleon to go over the process with them.
Deleon said in order for the sixth-penny tax, also known as the specific-purpose tax, to come before the commission, it must have a two-thirds vote in favor of the tax by incorporated communities within the county. The county has six incorporated cities and would need four of them in favor of the projects.
Deleon said the total amount of the projects and the list of projects must be identified by July 16, 2020, to make it unto the 2020 ballot for voters to review. He said those submitting items for consideration must have identified a specific project or purpose for the funding they are seeking.
The communities must also show how much the project will cost, how long it will take to complete and what excess funds, should there be any, will be spent on.
The commissioners will have the final decision on whether the six-penny tax will move onto the ballot or not. The communities will need follow state statues in regards to underwriters and bonds.
Chairman Wally Johnson said he thought Green River Mayor Pete Rust had the right idea in trying to get all of the mayors together to discuss potential projects and gauge support. He said there is nothing wrong with the communities getting together and discussing what they want on the sixth-penny initiative.
He said the county will also need to look at what it needs, such as improvements to the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County or the Sweetwater County Events Complex. Wendling asked if the communities will come before the commissioners with its requests. Deleon said they will need to come before the group for approval at some point.