Mayor Biskupski and the Salt Lake City Council are seeking resident feedback to better understand public perceptions of City service needs and potential funding mechanisms. The Mayor and City Council are currently exploring the possibility of activating a 0.5% sales tax option provided to the City in 2015. The ongoing funding could be used to help fund growth related priority areas of street repair, affordable housing, transit service, and neighborhood safety and security.
City officials are also exploring the possibility of placing a general obligation bond on the ballot in November which could be used to help significantly improve street and roadway conditions. A recent roadway survey found nearly two-thirds of Salt Lake City’s roads were in poor or worse condition. The City estimates it would need to spend approximately $20 million per year for the next ten years to move roadway conditions from failing to improving.
The proposed sales-tax increase is estimated to generate between $32 and $34 million annually and would exempt food (groceries) and large purchases like automobiles. The potential bond is estimated to be $87 million and would replace two bonds approved by voters 20 years ago, which will be paid off in mid-2019. The timing of the proposed bond and expiring bonds would give the City access to needed funding without a large increase in property taxes.
The City is engaging in an extensive public outreach and involvement effort to seek public feedback from residents, businesses and others with a stake in the future of Salt Lake City. A January poll of Salt Lake City residents found 65% of respondents supported increasing sales taxes to provide ongoing funding for growth-related priorities. The same poll also found nearly two-thirds of respondents would support a bond proposal for infrastructure projects.
The City will host a media background briefing on the proposal Thursday, March 29thbetween 4:00 – 5:00 PM in Room 425 of the City and County Building. Transportation, housing, police, engineering, and finance staff will be available to discuss the proposal with reporters.
Salt Lake City Council Work Session Briefing
5:15 PM (approximately)
Salt Lake City and County Building, 3rd Floor, Council Workroom
Funding Our Future Public Open House
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Salt Lake City and County Building, 3rd Floor, Hallway
Funding Our Future Public Workshops
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sorenson Unity Center
Salt Lake City Council Public Hearings
April 3 and 17
Salt Lake City and County Building, 3rd Floor, Council Formal Chambers
Funding Our Future Online Survey