To folks in rural communities like Syracuse, Clinton and West Point, it's plain-and-simple taxation without representation.
One-quarter cent of just about every dollar they spend goes to pay for the Utah Transit Authority. Yet the UTA doesn't serve those communities directly."I know the closest bus stop to my house is five or six miles away," said Rep. Scott Holt, R-Syracuse.
Holt has sponsored a bill that would allow rural communities not directly benefited by UTA to withdraw from the countywide mass transit district and instead use the one-quarter percent sales tax to bolster local road projects.
Tuesday, a House committee unanimously agreed with Holt's plan - despite the strong objections of UTA, which said withdrawal may not be legal. UTA also argued that bus service helps the county as a whole and therefore Davis County as a whole should pay for it.
"We need to make sure our constituents are receiving the benefits they are paying for," countered Holt.
Utah law provides that a one-quarter percent sales tax be used to fund UTA in Wasatch Front counties. Under the provisions of the bill, any sales tax paid on goods and services purchased by those residents outside the exempted area would still go to UTA.
However, sales tax revenue from any goods and services purchased in those communities that elected to withdraw from the transit district would be used by the community instead.