SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah’s inland port covers about 16,000 acres and facilitates moving goods using multiple modes of transportation. According to the inland port authority’s website, it also creates economic opportunity for the state of Utah. But Salt Lake City officials say the inland port takes resources away from the city.
The city first filed a lawsuit against the port authority and the state in 2019, but a 3rd district judge ruled in favor of the state. The city took the case to the Utah Supreme Court, but Wednesday, the Utah Supreme Court ruled against Salt Lake City, saying the port’s zoning provisions don’t violate the Utah constitution.
Representative Mike Schultz who sits on the board of directors for the inland port authority issued the following statement:
“Today’s ruling reaffirms the legitimate statewide purpose of the inland port and allows us to continue to work toward bringing the benefits of the port to the people of Utah. We look forward to engaging our many stakeholders, including Salt Lake City, under the new framework adopted during the 2022 General Session to create an inland port that is a model of economic development and environmental sustainability.
The Salt Lake City’s office issued the following statement:
“The Legislature should not be allowed to unilaterally change municipal land uses it does not agree with or redirect tax revenues that belong to cities. The Utah Supreme Court’s decision is deeply disappointing. The purpose of Salt Lake City’s litigation was to emphasize the unique authority of cities in Utah to directly respond to the needs of local constituents.
By allowing the state to usurp municipal land use authority, the Utah Supreme Court has potentially created serious consequences for the local authority of all 249 Utah cities and towns. While we are deeply disappointed with this decision, the City’s negotiations continue with the Utah Inland Port Authority on the contract to protect our residents’ health and mitigate the effects of the port on our community. We are also considering next steps on the Court’s request for additional briefing on the state’s redirection of the City’s tax revenue, which they did not rule on today.”