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Salt Lake City Grows 100% Every Day

Salt Lake City (SLC) is the most populous city in Utah with its projected population of 189,314 in 2012. Every day, hundreds of thousands of individuals flock into the city during the day mostly to work. It is said that around 20% of the total workforce of the state commutes to work that is located with the city limit. For this reason, the city experiences a 100% increase in its population every day when individuals who are living in suburban areas travel to the city every workday.

Daytime population refers to the number of people who are present in a particular place during the normal business hours. Information about the contraction or expansion that are experienced by various cities, towns, counties, and other communities during daytime and night time are vital in making plans or dealing with trade/service areas, market size, transportation, and relief operations. According to the data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Salt Lake City (UT), Irvine (CA), Orlando (FL), and Washington, D.C. are the cities in the U.S. that have shown the highest percentage of increase in daytime population as opposed to the resident population.

Salt Lake City’s daytime population doubles from more than 194,000 to almost 400,000. The increase in the daytime population of the city is considered as the second largest increase for cities that have at least 100,000 residents. Shoppers, students, and tourists also contribute to this daytime growth.

Providing services to the daytime population of Salt Lake City is a challenge since the city itself does not have the capability to generate enough revenue to cover the added costs. Moreover, the essential services offered to the daytime population such as fire and police protection are being paid by the residents of the city. Aside from this, the city will also need to allocate additional budgets if not maintain its current budget for emergency response or public safety in order to efficiently protect and serve its increased daytime population.

Another challenge that is being experienced by Salt Lake City is that the cost of the services offered to the daytime population are not covered by the point-of-sale sales tax. This means that if the city spends around $280 for the service that is offers to non-resident commuter annually, then, such non-resident commuter need to spend about $56,000 in the city annually in order to generate a point-of-sale revenue that is equivalent to $280.

Bill Davis is running for the Salt Lake City Council in District 5. One of the City's problems is that the daytime population almost doubles, which accounts for the bulk of our infrastructure problems. He feels that part of the solution is increasing the city’s permanent resident population to spread the cost of infrastructure over a greater number of people. The City had a larger population in 1960! Almost all of this would be high density transit oriented development.

An example of how to promote this would be re-alignment of the 900 South freeway ramps, which would open up a tremendous amount of transit oriented development within walking distance of the 900 So Trax station. He also wants to re-brand the 3rd West Corridor as the Ballpark Shopping District from 900 south to 2100 south along 300 west. He says “The City has benefited greatly by the tax revenue generated by the businesses along 300 West with very little direct investment in the area. Now the city should reinvest some money back into the area for infrastructure to support the on-going economic development of the area." The entire City would benefit from increased sales tax revenue because the area would draw non-residents to the area.

Overall, the daytime growth in Salt Lake City presents a budgetary challenge for the city government. The city strives to look at every possible way to deliver high quality services to its business, residents, and even the daytime population in an efficient and cost-effective manner. It is a fact that its full-time residents are the ones who subsidize the daytime growth in Salt Lake City. It may make hard choices in order to ensure that they deliver satisfactory city services while trying to minimize the fees and taxes. By working together, the city will be able to deal with the budgetary/financial challenges brought by daytime growth as well as improve enhance its services and meet its obligations to taxpayers.


Bill Davis 4 District 5:

+Nick J. West

by Staff Writer / Nick J. West (September 19th, 2013)
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