The Utah League of Cities and Towns believes that a government closest to the people governs best. That is why the values of local authority and community autonomy inform nearly all of the organization’s policy positions. Local governments are less insulated from their voters, making them more democratic and respondent to the will of their citizens. They understand the needs of their respective communities better than anyone and can directly provide for them. The primary goal of The League is to protect community autonomy and preserve their ability to self-govern. The League’s specific policy positions are informed by resolutions (passed by a majority of the membership) and determined by the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC). You can find a list of all resolutions here. Below, are several positions on key policy issues.
Economic growth is valued by communities everywhere. Both state and municipal governments have important roles to play in encouraging and shaping growth. Utah’s cities and towns have worked closely in recent years and that, coupled with Utahns’ innovative and industrious spirit, has led to economic prosperity despite precarious conditions nationwide. Utah’s cities and towns seek to continue partnering with the state on economic policies, so long as they do not infringe on the abilities of communities to shape how they grow.
Like economic growth, Utah cities and towns recognize the importance of transportation infrastructure to the state’s ability to grow. And like economic policy, municipal governments want to work with the state to form transportation plans that work for their individual communities, not in spite of them.
Municipal governments provide residents with many of their day-to-day services. It is critical that cities and towns have access to a small share of tax revenue to pay for the them. It is also important that revenue is not from a singular source (e.g. sales tax) so local governments can continue to provide essential services, even in the event of economic downturn. Furthermore, the state should not change tax the distribution formula without the comprehensive input of cities to avoid making some communities ‘winners’ and others ‘losers’.
Residents typically don’t want a major nuisance being constructed in your backyard. That’s why zoning exists – to protect the safety and well-being of a community. Municipalities need the ability to determine the types and uses of structures within their neighborhoods, or at least mitigate harmful effects. Local elected officials know their communities best and use their unique insight into deciding proper land use. The League joins with land owners and developers on the Land Use Task Force to collaborate on legislative issues and generate policy that optimizes development while preserving communities.