SPET Tax for START Housing?

Plans to build housing for up to 67 people will be presented today at the Joint Town and County Information Meeting with a price tag on design documents for 24 units at the START Bus facility on Snow King Avenue and authorities will consider reversing a decision on taxes to pay for it.

Officials are proposing the units in approximately 18,250 square feet with a proposed mix of 12 two-bedroom, 7 one-bedroom, and 5 studio units that totaled together could house 67 employees.

The site plan will also provide storage, laundry, and trash/recycling and includes 24 parking spaces which are shared with the facility.

A design team led by Jorgensen Associates was selected and contracted for the planning and design of the employee housing was  as part of the master plan for the facility.

The estimated, not to exceed cost to complete contract documents for the START Facility Employee Housing is $640,740.

Some elected officials have balked at the fact that the funding for the proposal has not been identified, but possible sources will be discussed today. Among them is a potential resurrection of the soon to expire SPET tax. This in spite of the decision let the SPET tax die after the money approved to fix the Budge hill slide.

Officials chose to seek a 1-penny sales tax increase to appear on the ballot this coming election and promised not to seek SPET funding in the future. If they go back on this pledge, sales would be taxed 7%. Currently the tax rate is 6%.

Other funding options include tax exempt bonding mixed with existing reserves. The cost of the completed project is expected to top 6 million dollars.

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