SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is suing over the newly-established Inland Port.
Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office said it filed the lawsuit Monday.
Biskupski released the following statement:
“Moments ago, the Salt Lake City Attorney’s Office, at my direction, filed a lawsuit with the 3rd Judicial District Court of Utah challenging the constitutionality of legislation which created the Inland Port Authority—usurping the City’s taxing and land use authority over one-third of Salt Lake City.
I have been clear since last year that I believe the State of Utah has violated the firmly established role of municipal governments.
Rather than work to correct this error, the State is preparing to double down on the worst parts of this legislation—seizing even more tax dollars and taking steps to close the courtroom door to me and other mayors who may be impacted by this gross State overreach.
After listening to the community, and conversations with city attorneys and outside counsel, I believe we must move forward with this lawsuit today before this year’s legislation takes effect.
As Mayor, I took an oath to protect Salt Lake City in every action I take.
The Inland Port represents one of the greatest threats to Salt Lake City—and frankly, to the rights of cities and towns, the form of government closest to the people.
While I do not take this action lightly, I take it with full confidence that I am doing what is right for the residents of Salt Lake City.”
The lawsuit names the Utah Inland Port Authority, Derek Miller in his formal capacity as Chair of the Inland Port Authority Board, and Governor Gary Herbert.
Governor Herbert signed the bill creating Utah Inland Port Authority in 2018. It allows the state to create a railroad freight terminal in the area known as the Northwest Quadrant near Salt Lake City International Airport. Throughout the process, Biskupski has voiced concerned that the State’s plans for the project went too far.
To view court filing visit: https://bit.ly/2EVkTH5
On Tuesday, Salt Lake City Council issued a response to the mayor’s lawsuit.
“Mayor Biskupski filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Inland Port Authority and Governor Herbert. The Salt Lake City Council was not consulted on the lawsuit and was not notified until it had been filed in 3rd District Court. The Council took steps during last year’s budget process to prohibit the Mayor from suing without the approval of the Council. The Council is committed to working productively with our state partners to look out for the best interest of Salt Lake City residents. We negotiated improvements for Salt Lake City in both the Special Session bill last year and this year’s Substitute HB 433. The Council is currently reviewing our options related to this lawsuit.”
ABC4 News reached out to several county council members and mayors about the Inland Port Authority lawsuit.
Weber County Commissioners support the original 2018 bill signed into law but are looking at House Bill 433.
Davis County Commissioners say they want a seat at the table to have their voices heard at the Inland Port Authority.
Salt Lake County Commissioners and the mayor say they are worried about the air quality in the valley.
Members from each county say the lawsuit is too new and each county will need to review it along with HB 433 before they can make a specific comment or stance on the issue.