An attempt to increase transportation funding by raising sales tax was on the ballot for 17 Utah Counties, and after counting most of the votes, the results are mixed.
While Utah county voted against Proposition 1, Davis and Weber counties voted for it. And as of late Tuesday night, the Salt Lake County race was too close to call.
Prop 1 is a quarter of a cent sales tax increase intended to help cities and counties maintain and improve roads. In areas where they offer service, the Utah Transit Authority would receive 40% of the increased sales tax revenue. Evelyn Everton is the state director of Americans For Prosperity, one of the only groups to actively oppose Prop 1. She says she believes the UTA component was a huge reason why election results are so close in Salt Lake County.
“I think voters are just kind of tired of throwing money at an agency that doesn’t seem to be very accountable for the money that they’re spending,” she says.
Abby Albrecht is the director of the Utah Transportation Coalition who campaigned in favor of Prop 1. She says there’s still a lot of work left to do, especially if Salt Lake County voters say no.
“Long-term transportation investment on the local level is a marathon," Albrecht says. "It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And we know that we will continue to have to beat the drum and make people aware of the need for transportation.”
In the 9 counties that appear to have approved the ballot measure, the increased sales tax will go into affect in April of 2016.