Salt Lake County residents say they would pay property tax to build more TRAX lines. A recent Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV poll showed that 56 percent of county residents would support a property-tax assessment to expedite the construction of four TRAX lines in the county.

What the poll didn't reveal was the average $95 property tax increase that would be needed on an average home valued at $200,000. The tax would partially fund construction of TRAX lines to the Salt Lake International Airport, South Jordan, Draper and West Valley City. That's at least $95 a year for 30 years to retire a bond of $875 million. All told, the four lines would cost approximately $1.2 billion. This $95 a year would come on top of property taxes already assessed for cemeteries, libraries, water districts, sewer districts, special-service districts, municipal services, recreation districts, mosquito abatement services and school districts.

Clearly, residents of Salt Lake County would need to carefully consider if they are willing to add to their tax burden in exchange for a vastly enhanced public transportation system. It's more than a taxation question, it's a quality-of-life issue. It's a question that should go before Salt Lake County voters.

Construction of the four lines would begin within a year of UTA obtaining funding for the expansion project. All lines would be operational within seven years.

If commuters take full advantage of new TRAX lines, it would add more life to highways and surface streets in Salt Lake County. As the state's population increases and the numbers of vehicles increases, that's a considerable bonus.

Add that to the significant increase in convenience for people who need to travel to and from the airport, or commuters in the south end of the valley. Convenience should boost overall ridership, which would render a significant hike in property tax a worthwhile investment.

But these are issues that Salt Lake County voters need to weigh for themselves. The Salt Lake County Council should place this issue before voters. Then, UTA must provide property owners precise information on how much these improvements will cost and what Salt Lake County residents will get for their money.