Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City residents, as well as Utahns as a whole, don't want to spend more money to expand the Salt Palace, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
Pollster Dan Jones & Associates found that 48 percent of those he questioned in a recent survey don't want the Legislature to give the Salt Palace $15 million. Forty-two percent favor the expenditure.Jones also asked Salt Lake County residents and Salt Lake City residents if they want the county and city each to kick in $15 million for the convention center.
He found that among county residents, 50 percent don't want to spend $15 million in county taxes for the Salt Palace. Among city residents, 47 percent don't want the city to give $15 million for the facility.
The Salt Palace is owned by Salt Lake County. The idea is that the state will give $15 million, the county $15 million and the city $15 million toward a $60 million renovation and expansion of the facility.
Convention officials say the center is aging and inadequate to attract new and expanded conventions. Since the whole state, and especially the county and city, benefit from the convention center's activities, the three different governments should contribute to the Palace's renovation, convention backers say.
However, legislators refused to allocate the state's $15 million share during the 1990 regular session. There's been talk of a special session to consider the money, but Gov. Norm Bangerter says he won't call a session unless difficulties are worked out and most lawmakers agree with the expenditure.
This past week, Salt Lake City officials met with state and county counterparts to discuss various ways of funding the renovation, including increasing the hotel room tax or imposing new taxes on food or soft drinks.
But no consensus was reached. City council members did say that they aren't prepared to allocate $15 million until and unless the Legislature agrees to give $15 million in state funds.