Summit County Council members request Governor suspend sales tax revenue restrictions

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, March 26, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Summit County Council officials have submitted a written request to Governor Gary Herbert to use his emergency powers to suspend restrictions on sales tax revenue from the Transient Room Tax, Restaurant Tax and RAP Tax.

If suspended, this could be used to help soften economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Summit County, said a news release from the county.

“Summit County stands in a unique position in Utah and across the nation,” Chair Doug Clyde said. “Our local economy is dependent upon the hospitality industry. We can use those sales taxes for grants and loans to businesses and nonprofit entities to aid in the recovery of the impacts from the pandemic. The sooner we can use our Hospitality Tax fund balances to assist our small businesses, the more businesses we can save from closing permanently.”

County leadership cited the Governor’s “Utah Leads Together Plan,” Utah’s Plan for a Health and Economic Recovery, in the letter and stated that the request is consistent with this economic recovery plan, the news release said.

“The county has fund balances in each of its Hospitality Tax funds that could be used for this purpose,” Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said. “We have been in close communication with the Park City Chamber Bureau to coordinate efforts to assist our business community. Our goal is to assist small businesses, non-profits and others that might otherwise be at risk of permanently shutting down without aid.”

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In an effort to further protect county residents from COVID-19, the Summit County Council, County Manager, and Health Director, in collaboration with the Summit County Board of Health and Mayors of the Cities and Towns of Summit County issued an order requiring all residents to stay at home and cease non-essential travel and operations until at least May 1, the news release said.

The order goes into effect Friday, March 27 at 12:01 a.m. and applies to non-essential businesses, services, and visitors in addition to residents.

“As part of the order, visitors in Summit County were asked to leave as safely and quickly as possible,” the news release said. “Visitors planning future trips were asked not to visit Summit County for the duration of this order.  Secondary home-owners who are not currently residing in the county were also asked to avoid the county.”

To learn more about local orders and the Summit County COVID-19 outlook, visit summitcountyhealth.org/coronavirus. At this website, the public can also find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and community resources that are updated regularly as the pandemic situation evolves.

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