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Letter: Many questions remain about inland port

May 16, 2024

The Utah Inland Port Authority is pushing forward with a port for Weber County as well as many others around Utah. They promise high tax revenues for counties and provide tax subsidized money for areas that banks will not support. In reality, the counties receive 25% of the taxes; the port controls the other 75%. There are a lot of promises, but no viable business plan. The Utah State tax commissioner recently warned that these tax subsidies are slowly chipping away at Utah’s tax base and may result in higher taxes for all of us. The state auditor found many discrepancies in their finances. The port authority has not honored promises it made to Salt Lake City. Though they talk a good talk, they are not reliable business partners. So what if the county moves ahead with a proposal in Weber county, close to 9,000 acres, and the port falls apart as some predict?

Any involvement with the Utah Port Authority must be done cautiously and with answers in writing to address: funding for additional police, road maintenance and infrastructure; maintaining local control, and assured income revenues. The Weber port will abut the Great Salt Lake and cover many wetlands. Wetlands help filter the water and the air. They also provide habitat for various species, important for the ecosystem. How will wetlands be protected? Who will pay the additional health costs of increased asthma and heart disease the port will generate? How will the health of the GSL be ensured?

If we continue to allow the ports without check, we will endanger the GSL, the ski industry, the global brine shrimp economy, and lose the outdoor industries that add billions to our income. We will be known for high taxes, poor air quality, impossible traffic, and a disregard for bird populations.

There is a lot at stake and we need to contact county commissioners, city council persons, and our legislators to let them know your concerns.

Patty Becnel

Ogden

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