There’s still time for Salt Lake City residents to tell city leaders what they think about a proposed sales tax increase. An open house and public hearing are scheduled Tuesday night at city hall.
The half-cent hike would bring in an extra $33 million annually for police, public transit, road maintenance and housing. Food and big-ticket items like cars would not be included in the tax increase.
Council Chair Erin Mendenhall said the city’s having a hard time paying for basic services.
“The gaps are so great that we can’t address it with the existing revenue that’s coming into the city,” she said. “And the sales tax option is the greatest way that we have to collect money from everyone who uses the city, not just our property owners.”
Utah lawmakers gave Salt Lake City the option to increase the sales tax by half a percent when it was chosen to host the new state prison.
April 17 is the last opportunity for the public to weigh in on the increase. It’s the same day the council is expected to vote on the measure.
City leaders are also asking voters to approve a general obligation bond in November. The bond would raise about $20 million annually for major road and infrastructure projects. It would increase an average homeowner’s tax bill by about $5 a year.