SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – At the direction of Mayor Jackie Biskupski, the Salt Lake City Attorney’s office filed an amended complaint in the city’s lawsuit challenging the Utah Inland Port Authority.
The amended complaint addresses changes made in House Bill 433 which passed during the 2019 legislative session.
Along with reiterating the City’s previously-statemented objections on the Authority’s “unconstitutional usurping of land use and taxing,” the amended complaint adds the following objections to the revisions of the Utah Inland Port Authority Act as reflected in HB433:
- Creates one project area for the Authority jurisdictional land.
- Mandates that the Authority take 100% of the City property tax increment.
- Mandates that the Authority take a portion of the City’s sales and use tax revenue.
- Kept in language that allows the Authority to substitute its judgment for the City’s on land use appeals in the jurisdictional land.
“HB433 is proof that the State has no intention of negotiating in good faith or addressing any of the serious concerns raised by my Administration, namely land use and taxing authority,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
Salt Lake City is also asking the court for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Authority from spending or committing any of the City’s money from property or sales taxes pending the outcome of the case. The City also wants the Authority to hold off from “engaging in any planning, design, or construction of site improvements or public infrastructure in the jurisdictional area.”
Salt Lake City says during the last legislative session, the State of Utah approved a $5 million loan to the Utah Inland Port Authority to make infrastructure improvements. The legislation requires the money be paid back using City property tax money.
“If allowed to proceed the City would suffer irreparable harm,” said Biskupski in a statement.
House Democrats representing the districts around the Inland Port issued a statement in support of the mayor’s amended lawsuit.
“We think the mayor raises some valid points,” said Representative Sandra Hollins, D-District 23. “As representatives of the communities of those that will be most impacted by the inland port, we have serious concerns about tying the hands of our communities with these mandates that usurp our local sales and use taxes. We are also very concerned about how this project will degrade the environment and the health of our constituents.”
Representatives Elizabeth Weight (D-District 31) and Angela Romero (D-District 26) have also said they support the mayor’s amended lawsuit.