By Myrna Trauntvein
Juab County will not seek to place the RAP (Recreation, Arts and Parks) tax on the November ballot leaving the question to be placed on the ballot for residents of Nephi only.
In commission meeting on Monday, the county commission passed a resolution notifying Nephi City that the county would not seek to impose a local sales and use tax of 0.1 percent on authorized transactions to fund cultural, recreational and zoological facilities and botanical, cultural and zoological organizations.
“The city council attorney, Kasey Wright, prepared the resolution,” said Clinton Painter, commission chairman.
“I modified some areas,” said Perry Davis, deputy Juab County attorney.
Davis said the county position referred to in Part 7, the county option for funding Botanical, Cultural, Recreational, and Zoological Organizations or Facilities of Chapter 12 Title 59, (Utah Code Annotated), would be that the county would not seek to impose a tax under Part 7.
“Nephi City is free to submit an opinion question to its voters regarding the imposition of a Nephi City RAP tax,” states the resolution.
Nephi City, on June 19, passed a resolution notifying the Juab County Commission of Nephi City’s intent to submit an opinion question to city voters as to whether the city should impose a citywide RAP tax.
On July 6 the county commission was ready to declare that the county would not submit an opinion question to county voters.
In the June meeting, Seth Atkinson, city administrator, requested that the city be allowed to put the RAP tax on the ballot.
The city cannot do a RAP tax if the county had planned to put the question on the ballot. Only if the county chose to forgo the tax, could the city then put the question on the ballot.
Conversely, the county cannot impose a RAP tax if a community has been allowed to do so.
“It doesn’t preclude you from ever doing a tax,” said Atkinson at the time. “It is only for 10 years. We are dedicating the tax to debt service.”
According to state law, a city cannot place a question of imposing a RAP tax before voters without first notifying the county.
If approved by the voters, the tax would stay in place for 10 years. After that time, it would need to go on the ballot again.
“The reason for this is that the county then has an opportunity to adopt a RAP tax themselves, or to pass a resolution allowing the city to move forward with the RAP tax on a citywide basis,” said Atkinson. “The resolution attached to the memorandum is to fulfill the requirement to provide a notice of intent to the county.”
The Nephi City Council adopted a resolution informing the county commission of the city’s intent to place the question on the ballot.
The city preference is to adopt the RAP tax within the Nephi City limits. Therefore, the request from the Nephi City Council to the Juab County Commission is to allow Nephi City to pursue a RAP tax.
“As a member of Nephi City,” said Byron Woodland, commissioner, “I will vote in favor of the RAP tax.”
Painter said that he would also approve of other cities seeking to add a RAP tax to the ballot for their jurisdictions and would also indicate that the county was not interested in requesting a county-wide RAP tax.
The resolution will take effect immediately.
The RAP tax is an additional 1/10 of 1 percent (equivalent to one penny for every $10) sales tax levied on all purchases within the city. It is collected on sales and uses and is not solely paid by city residents. A visitor or tourist who shops in the city or attends events in the city will also contribute to the RAP tax.
A family that spends $1,000 a month on qualifying purchases will pay an additional $1 per month.
The intent is to use the funds to provide facilities for recreation in the city. The city’s recreation department is using the mayor’s office at city hall as their office because of the remodeling project at the West Campus where the recreation office was located, said Atkinson.
In addition, the city only owns one ball park. The city uses facilities at the schools and at an LDS ball park to provide for the needs of recreation. The same is true of other sports; the school district allows use of their facilities by the city recreation department.
“This action will leave the city free to put the RAP tax question on the ballot for Nephi residents,” said Rick Carlton, commissioner.