Fairview voters give narrow nod
to tax for parks, recreation, arts
By Suzanne Dean
Nov. 9, 2017
FAIRVIEW—Fairview will have about $5,000 more per year to spread among arts organizations or use for capital improvements at public facilities following passage of a recreation-arts-parks (RAP) tax on Tuesday.
But the vote was closer than many expected. The measure, which authorizes the city to impose a 1/10th of 1 cent sales tax (10 cents per $100) on nonfood items, passed 187-166. That translates to a 52 to 47 percent margin in favor of the tax.
“The whole election was close…,” said Dave Taylor, who as city planner helped put the proposition together, and who was also elected mayor in the election.
He said he was gratified that the tax passed. “Other communities have turned it down flat,” he said.
“Some people said it’s just another tax, and I respect that. But I hope at the end of the day that it’s not that great a burden and yet enables us to do some things” in the arts and recreation areas.
Passage of the proposition will raise sales tax in Fairview from 6.5 to 6.6 percent. While no one knows for sure how much the extra 1/10th cent will yield, the city has estimated it will bring in $5,000.
An argument in the voter information pamphlet written by a citizen in favor of the tax said, “The RAP tax will help preserve the very heart of why we love to call Fairview our home.”
Allocation of the revenue will be up to the Fairview City Council. Earlier, Taylor said he anticipated individuals or groups would apply for funding, and the money would be divided among several applicants each year.
The city sponsors the Fairview Museum, which has an art gallery. The museum sponsors the Art Start program under which children at Fairview Elementary visit the museum once a month to participate in an art project.
Fairview is also known for the North Bend Entertainers, a community theater group that performs at the Peterson Dance Hall. And the town’s Pioneer Days is one of the larger community celebrations in Sanpete County. All of those groups or projects could be eligible for funding.
Under state law governing the RAP tax, funds cannot be used for ongoing maintenance of parks or public facilities but can be used for one-time capital improvements.
The vote puts the tax in place for 10 years, after which another vote is required to continue it or it automatically goes off the books.
“I hope after it’s been in operation, people will see the benefits,” Taylor said.