Green River Star -

Our View:Much to consider

 

October 24, 2019



As we watch the sixth-penny special purpose tax requests make their way in front of the Sweetwater County commissioners, we’ve come to realize just how much our cities and towns have come to rely on the tax.

Without this tax, the cities and towns’ water, sewer, and road paving projects would start to dwindle and maybe even come to a halt as the state isn’t seeing as much funding as is has in the past.

While the state continues to cut funding to cities and towns across the state, this tax has been a way for counties to come up with money to pay for needed projects.

While we know all too well just how important this tax is to getting projects done that simply can’t be funded any other way, we want to caution those who want a long time-frame on the tax.

We can recall covering this same issue the very first time it was brought up years and years ago and if our recollection is correct, the main reason the tax has been so successful is because it is a temporary tax. That’s right: temporary. We can remember how vocal elected officials at that time were in making sure everyone knew the tax would come off as soon as the funding was reached to complete the projects.

With continued talks about expanding the tax out to six, eight or even 13 years, we start to question if this tax is truly temporary anymore. It’s starting to sound more and more like a semi-permanent tax.

We’ve been presented with what other counties have done. Such as Albany County, which passed a sixth-penny tax for $65 million to be paid for over a 10-12 year span and Carbon County, which will pay for their sixth-penny tax of about $67 million over a 4-6 year span. However, we aren’t like any other county in the state and the amount being requested from voters is about $175 million at this time, which is much larger than those two counties combined. This number includes the Sweetwater County Events Complex’ request.

The discussions on what will be placed on the ballot, how it will be placed on the ballot haven’t even started yet and we can tell it’s going to be a long, meticulous process. It should be. After all, we’re talking about a tax for millions of dollars.

 

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