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Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV)
Local option sales tax and transportation funding; two big issues for many legislators to solve.
Says Shawn Barigar, President and CEO of the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce, "the first is about a local option sale tax authority. So that's giving local committees, cities and counties the opportunity to ask voters to approve additional sales tax that can then be used for projects that meet those communities needs."
Senator Chuck Winder discussed a model he refers to as the Oklahoma City model.
In this plan, local government lets residents decide if they want tax money to go towards a particular project.
Says Widner, "basically it would allow them to deal with issues whether its schools, fire stations, libraries roadways, and bridges. It would allow them to solve some of their own problems as a local level.”
The second issue raised was in regards to transportation funding. Officials are concerned about the lack of sufficient money to maintain roadways.
Says Barigar, "the continued need to have good solid transportation routes throughout the city to serve not only the residents but public safety and well as transportation for congress."
Winder adds, "right now the state spends about 600 million dollars on the system, primarily for maintenance snow removal all the things that go into it. The local jurisdictions are very short of funds when it comes to maintaining their streets and bridges"
Putting issues in perspective and taking steps towards improving the future.