Summit County, Utah (March 26, 2020) — Summit County Council Chair Doug Clyde and Summit County Manager Tom Fisher 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.
“Summit County stands in a unique position in Utah and across the nation,” Clyde said. “Our local economy is dependent upon the hospitality industry. We can use those sales taxes for grants and loans to businesses and non-profit 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 County has fund balances in each of its Hospitality Tax funds that could be used for this purpose,” 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.”
A recent study on FOX 13 News noted that resort communities have a higher occurrence of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents than the rest of the nation. While the rate of occurrence is 16 cases per 100,000 nationally, Summit County’s is 196. This per capita rate is one of the highest in the nation behind counties in New York state.
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 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. 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.
Communication & Public Engagement Director