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Washington County officials favor sales tax for direct bus route from St. George to Springdale

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (ABC4 News) – A direct bus route from St. George to Springdale could soon be a reality. If approved, public or private buses would take State Route 9 from St. George to Springdale. 

With more than 4 million people visiting Zion National Park each year, Washington County residents say the route is an effective way to not only handle overcrowding but also reduce their carbon footprint. 

“Instead of using so much gas and polluting the air, I think it’d be very good for our community,” said St. George resident Cooper Mills. 

The Utah Department of Transportation announced last May a $15 million grant for start-up funds, which Washington County officials said would need to last at least 10 years. 

County and municipal officials say they favor a 0.25% sales tax that would be effective starting in 2020. 

“About 30 to 40 percent of people that pay sales taxes are visitors, meaning tourists would be helping pay for transit costs,” said St. George Mayor Jon Pike. 

The proposed tax would bring the city of St. George about $3 million per year and also help Washington County maintain and expands roads and bike paths and possibly add extra bus routes. 

Pike said he hopes the route will be up and running in the next year and a half. 

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