ST. GEORGE – The future of the proposed sales tax increase for road funding is no longer in question with the recent election update released Tuesday.
Numbers released from the Washington County Clerk’s Office show that Proposition 1, which would have added a quarter-percent sales tax to items in the county with the exception of food, has little to no chance of passing at this point.
The ballot measure, if approved, would have taken 1 cent out of every $4 spent in the county for the construction, upgrade and maintenance of transportation infrastructure. Public transit would also have received additional funding.
Little changed percentage wise and the results remained pretty steady at 52 percent against Prop 1 and 47 percent in favor, which translates to 28,986 votes to 26,311. Last week’s initial tally was counted at 24,596 votes to 22,464.
The Washington County Clerk’s Office will be releasing an additional count update Friday, with the final count results being released next Tuesday.
Around 4,000 ballots have yet to be counted, Washington County Clerk Kim Hafen said. However, at this juncture he said it is unlikely the election results will change much.
Supporters of Proposition 1 have included a number of city mayors in the county who said the additional funding is necessary in order to not only meet current demands, but also help fund new transportation infrastructure necessary to accommodate the traffic that will result from the county’s continued growth.
Opponents have stated they want the county and its municipalities to work within the budgets they have and prioritize roads and related infrastructure accordingly.
According to data from the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the 0.25 percent sales tax was estimated to generate an annual revenue of $1.4 million for St. George for transportation infrastructure and $1.6 million for the SunTran public transit service. Washington County would have received around $800,000.
Other updated election results
Another race that has been close is that of Washington County School Board’s District 3 between Terry Hutchinson and incumbent Debbra Zockoll. Hutchinson maintains a slim lead of 3,995 votes to Zockoll’s 3,823 votes, or 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent respectively.
Washington County School Board District 1: Becky Dunn garnered 4,159 votes/40 percent to Richelle Nelson’s 2,109 votes/39 percent.
Washington County School Board District 2: Incumbent Craig Seegmiller took 3,918 votes/65 percent to challenger Rick Nelson’s 2,109 votes/35 percent.
Senate District 29: Republican incumbent Don Ipson garnered 29,854 votes to Democratic challenger Dorothy Engelman’s 8,481 votes for a 77.8 to 22.1 percentage.
House District 71: Republican incumbent Brad Last garnered 8,864 votes to Democratic challenger Chuck Goode’s 2,208 votes for an 80 to 20 percentage.
Washington County Commission Seat C: Dean Cox received 39,699 votes/74.24 percent; Josh Warburton garnered 7,192 votes/13.45 percent, and Greg Aldred took 6,580 votes/12.31 percent
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