Election season is fast approaching. We’re not electing city officials this year, but you’ll have the opportunity to vote for county, state and federal officials over the next few weeks. This year in Utah, the election of officials seems to be taking a back seat to ballot issues like Our Schools Now, medical marijuana, expanded Medicaid, and redistricting. Study these issues and make informed choices.
One very important local issue will appear on Richfield residents’ ballots. It’s the renewal of the city’s ZAP tax. Eight years ago, Richfield residents voted to establish this small addition to the sales tax, which goes directly to fund parks and recreation facilities and programs. This tax is 0.1%. For those of you who are mathematically challenged like me, that amounts to 1 cent on a purchase of $10 or 50 cents on a $500 purchase.
That seems like a pretty miniscule amount, but it makes a huge difference in the city’s ability to maintain and equip our parks and recreation programs. Last year those “few cents” on everyday purchases totaled $230,000. An interesting and important fact to consider is that visitors to our community, whether they’re from elsewhere in the county or from the other side of the world, contribute to this tax. We think that’s more than fair, since they also enjoy the use of our facilities and programs.
Without the ZAP tax, we would have to reduce or eliminate some of our services in this area, or increase taxes somewhere else to make up the difference. You might be asking yourself, “why do we have to vote on this again?” When the state legislature created the ZAP tax, they required that voters need to reapprove the tax every 8 years in order to keep it on the books.
Please don’t let this issue get lost among all the other ballot initiatives. You’ll be receiving your ballots in the mail next week, and I ask you please consider this an important issue for Richfield’s future.Mayor David Ogden