Davis County residents will see increased traffic and higher costs to expand crowded roads because they failed to pass a tax hike for transportation fixes, according to supporters of Opinion Question One, which called for a quarter-cent sales-tax increase for new roads and mass transit.
Meanwhile, in Weber County, residents are waiting for as many as 1,000 provisional, absentee and mail-in ballots to be counted to see if the transportation-tax increase passed in their county. Unofficial results showed it was passing by 310 votes.
The tax hike was on ballots in three counties this election, including Box Elder County, which passed the measure 68 percent to 32 percent. The tax hike there will fund a study of commuter rail into Box Elder, and will likely speed the construction of the rail line into the county, according to the Utah Transit Authority.
John Pitt, chairman of the Davis County Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday that he was disappointed with the vote in Davis, which failed 58 percent to 42 percent. He said his group was deciding whether to push the tax hike again next year.
If the increase had passed, it would have expedited the construction of several road projects in the county, including a new Interstate I-15 interchange in Layton and land purchases for a future northward extension of the Legacy Parkway -->.
Now, supporters say, Davis residents will pay more in the future because of rising costs to get the road projects built.
"If people have a year to sit in traffic ... hopefully they'll see the traffic cannot go away," Pitt said. "It's going to get worse, because we will have additional people moving in, and we don't have the solution."
Dave Hardman, president of the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce, said he anticipated the tax hike would ultimately pass in Weber. "I'm happy we're in a position to look forward to moving on it," he said.Weber County election judges said mail-in ballots will be counted by Friday, and provisional and absentee ballots will be counted beginning Tuesday.