SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) The sales tax could be on the way up in Salt Lake City.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced the half-a-cent increase while unveiling the proposed budget for next year on Monday.
To break it down, for every $10 spent in the city, an additional nickel will be earmarked for four specific projects, including road repairs.
Two-thirds of the city’s roads are really bad shape, including about 20,000 potholes. Mayor Jackie Biskupski wants over $7 million of new sales tax money to help.
“Our efforts with this extra money will not just hold everything together but start to improve things,” Street Division Director Parviz Rokhva said.
Nearly $6 million will be earmarked for the police department, to pay for higher salaries, new equipment and 27 new police officers.
Chief Mike Brown said it’s badly needed.
“This is good news for the citizens of Salt Lake City,” Chief Mike Brown said.
The sales tax increase proposal called, “Funding our Future,” won’t hit groceries or vehicle sales. Estimates show it will collect $25 million in 2018 and $33 million there after.
“The plans that we brought forward are the plans the residents really want to support,” Mayor Biskupski told reporters in a press conference.
Mayor Biskupski also wants $5.3 million to expand mass transit to put a dent in Utah’s bad air.
Finally, more than $4.12 for programs making housing more affordable.
“Should we get that funding passed, then you will see the tremendous opportunity we have to really create the city we have all desired to have,” Mayor Bisckupski said.
Budget deliberations are expected to continue through June, but a vote on the sales tax increase could come as early as Tuesday, May 1.