Tax Restructuring

The Utah Legislature Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force will be having its eighth and final meeting on July 30th at UVU. The town hall meetings are part of a statewide listening tour being conducted by the task force. It will be live* streamed on le.utah.gov. *If there are technical issues with the live stream, the recording will be posted on the legislative website at a later time.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Utah Valley University
Sorensen Center Grand Ballroom
800 W. University Parkway, Orem
Open House – 6:00 pm
Town Hall Meeting – 7:00 PM


Public input is a critical part of the process as the task force considers how to restructure the state’s funding imbalance. Engaged citizen feedback is valuable to the process and will provide the Legislature with informed recommendations for consideration.

There are several ways to be actively involved in the process and to share your thoughts.

  • Submit a comment at a town hall meeting
  • Sign up to speak* at a town hall meeting during public feedback. *Space is limited based on time and is on a first-come basis
  • Attend a town hall meeting to learn more, provide input and talk with task force members
  • Provide input by filling out an online comment form on the website strongerfutures.utah.gov

On the website you can find facts about challenges the Utah budget is facing, the schedule of public meetings, submit feedback and suggestions and get updates. Please contact me with any questions you might have.

Transportation
I have instigated several meetings and conversations with UDOT, MAG (Mountainland Association of Governments), and Provo City to advocate for our area and to find out where things are with the freeway interchange and improvements to Geneva Road. 

Freeway Interchange
There is new data to show that another freeway interchange in Provo may not be the best idea. UDOT is looking at less dependence on interchanges, and instead using frontage roads for access from the freeway. They are working with MAG, which is responsible for long range planning in our county, and are still in the data gathering and study phase. However, I came away from yesterday’s meeting with the impression that they were leaning against putting in another Provo interchange–at least with the data they have now. 

800 North
An issue that those living west of the freeway in our district have is that between University Parkway in Orem and Center Street in Provo, there are only two east/west access roads–2000 South/North and 800 N–, and both of them are periodically blocked by trains. I have lived at 838 N 2400 W (west of Geneva Rd) for 30 years and have used all these roads countless times. Widening 800 N has never sounded like a great east/west access solution to me; what we need are additional roads to take the pressure off of 800 N and an overpass over the train tracks. For example, I have long thought that 500 N in Provo should be extended to go over the tracks and connect with Geneva Rd. Coincidentally, one of UDOT’s goals is to strengthen the grid system, and so we are on the same page on this. I was told that there are no plans to widen 800 N at this time, and that UDOT is looking for the best ways to strengthen the east/west grid. I have heard that Provo City has bought some of the homes on 800 N in anticipation of it being widened, but UDOT told me Provo’s actions would not play a role in their data gathering.

Geneva Rd.
I have been advocating for bicycle lanes and sidewalks on Geneva Road for a long time. Our section of Geneva was scheduled to be the last phase of the Geneva Road improvements that started up on the north end almost 20 years ago, but somehow the project stopped when the work was completed up to University Parkway. I could never get a straight answer as to why or what was happening, but when I became your state representative a year ago, I had a bit more clout and confidence behind my questions. 🙂 

One year ago, Geneva Road improvements were not on anyone’s radar or even on the long range plan. WHAT?! I am happy to say that they are now on the 1st priority list. This is still frustrating because everything moves slower than I want (but that slow movement can also be a good thing in some ways). What I am advocating and hoping for, and what makes sense to me, are three lanes–one each direction and a turning lane–, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks. However, it will be important to look at the data that is gathered to see what it indicates. There has been talk of increasing Geneva to five lanes, but I would have to see some convincing data to agree with that. 

Funding is appropriated five years out, and funding has already been appropriated for projects through 2024. What this means is that being in the current first priority gives the project funding in the next cycle. To make a long story short, best case scenario is that the earliest improvements could be finished on Geneva Road is 2027. HOWEVER, nothing will be decided or done without public meetings and public input. Your input is important!! If you have suggestions or opinions about this or any other project, PLEASE let the Transportation Commission know. You can send them your comments at https://www.udot.utah.gov/main/f?p=100:pg:::::T,V:4421.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you have.

  1. Austin Taylor says:

    So good to hear we may not get another freeway interchange! The whole 800 N interchange idea is stupid anyway. It’s eight blocks!! What difference does that make?

  2. K Randle says:

    Honestly – the small experience I’ve had, living in several states over a significant bit of time – is that three lanes aren’t ever going to satisfy the expanding population of this place. Geneva Road used to be a HIGHWAY, which was a big word, once – an arterial road that carried long distance travelers through the boonies of Utah. My husband remembers the trips his folks would take on that road from L.A. to Salt Lake when he was a little kid. When I look at the road now – sad at the disappearing farms, and the blocking of views of the lake and western mountains (and the eastern ones) – I just see what it’s gonna be. Just like happened in Arlington, Texas – a swell little town with a nice highway through the woods – now a six lane divided freeway. I think we’re going to end up with at least four lanes – good by old farm houses we have loved for eons, and the old tithing house, and the backyards with horses in them. The mass of high density housing that’s being built is going to make it impossible to pull out our of neighborhoods without a light at every egress. My sister, living in Arlington observes that they have built themselves to the point where now they are going up instead of out – not the town my parents moved to anymore. She hates it. I hate it. But cities cow-tow to the influx of new people, regardless of the fact that the city might have been doing swell on the taxes the stable population needed for safe support – and that the influx of outside folks will, inevitably, mean higher costs in all services and higher taxes for the people who did not WANT the growth in the first place. Got my property tax bill and am wondering where they get off deciding what my property MIGHT be worth instead of what it cost ME. Let new people pay higher taxes, and leave the faithful stable layer of the population live in the houses they established when they were young.

  3. Ron Hathcock says:

    Road construction projects should be better coordinated so residents don’t have to drive miles out of their way when, for example, both Geneva Rd and 500 W are not usable. Lately I’ve been doing much of my shopping in Orem and Springville rather than deal with those projects.

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