Dear Editor,

The public will vote in November on whether to increase sales tax by 0.25 percent to finance road construction in Grand County, Moab City and Castle Valley.

The county would receive 60 percent of monies collected from the tax increase, and the funds could be used at the discretion of the county council for the construction of the Book Cliffs Road. Grand County has in place all of the administrative infrastructure necessary for the approval of the construction of the Book Cliffs Road.

In a letter to the council on July 1, 2015, Grand County Attorney Andrew Fitzgerald stated that the Grand County Transportation Special Service District has the authority to form interlocal agreements with other counties, or other special service districts, to provide services for the construction of roads.

The transportation special service district can provide the Book Cliffs Road with mineral lease money for planning and construction. The transportation district has fully supported development of the road, and in 2014 contributed $10,000 to find a route for the road.

The transportation tax is supported by the “Utahns for Responsible Transportation Investments,” which is co-chaired by Questar Gas. The extraction industry controls the CIB Board and its mineral lease money. The transportation sales tax is another avenue for the extraction industry to acquire public funds for more development. Sales taxes should not be used to benefit private industry.

The Grand County Council needs to eliminate the county’s transportation special service district before the public approves the new sales tax increase.