County Council Newly Elected Member’s Op-Ed Sparks Reaction

December 1, 2014

Mary McGann(Moab Utah/Salt Lake City)-A weekend Op-Ed piece in the Salt Lake Tribune, written by Grand County Council Elect member Mary McGann has set off a myriad of reactions, both in the Salt lake tribune and on the internet. McGann opines, “The sweeping changes that happened in the Grand County elections were a vote for Moab’s economic future instead of the past.” She says the days of mineral extraction as a primary source of income, for Moab, are gone and offers that the recreation industry is the present and the future of Moab’s economy. She cites the following to support her position that recreation is the Economic engine for the area. She says: Quote ”Locally, public lands generate upwards of $200 million in economic activity for the city of Moab. In fact, tourism and recreation generates 2.5 to 3.5 times more tax revenue for Grand County than extractive industries.”

That position is challenged by a Salt Lake Responder in the Tribune, who says: Quote: “Ms. McGann is in error on one critical fact, and misleads on another. State mineral lease funds are not taxpayer funds – they are funds paid directly by mineral companies to mitigate impacts from mineral development. In the future, if Grand County does not wish to support mineral development, those funds can and should be reallocated elsewhere. Second, the ten largest property tax payers in Grand County are all extractive industries – tourism may generate sales taxes for Moab, but county government and local schools are paid for by property taxes, When Ms. Gann and her colleagues run the extractive industries folks off, we can expect a county financial crisis like clockwork. My guess is 2016.” Un quote.

The Oped Piece and the comments are found both in the Tribune and on its website,

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