American Fork voters could decide this November whether the city should impose a local sales and use tax “to fund cultural, recreational and zoological facilities, and botanical, cultural and zoological organizations in the city.”

The 0.1% tax on authorized transactions has been referred to both as a RAP tax and PARC tax. It would be in place for 10 years, replacing the city’s current eight-year tax that is set to expire.

On Tuesday, the American Fork City Council unanimously approved a resolution “notifying the Utah County Commission of the city’s intent to submit an opinion question to American Fork residents regarding the possible imposition of a citywide tax to fund Parks, Arts, Recreation and Cultural activities and organizations in American Fork City.”

The resolution approved on Tuesday states that a city “may not impose a RAP tax if the county in which the city is located has either enacted a countywide RAP tax or has declared its intent to submit an opinion question to county voters as to whether the county should impose a countywide RAP tax.”

It further states that “the city may proceed with its RAP tax election if the county indicates that it does not seek to impose a countywide RAP tax; however the city may not proceed with the RAP tax election if the county provides written notice to the city of the county’s own RAP tax election.”

The resolution further states that the American Fork City Council “intends to proceed with a RAP tax election and to provide Utah County with notice of its intent as required by law.”

City Administrator David Bunker explained that, as outlined in state statute, cities must notify the lieutenant governor “of the intent to put any kind of a tax issue” on the ballot. The tax in question, he said, “is an issue that would go before the voters.”

“And so our intention here is to bring this before the council, get your approval, and then we can notify the county immediately, give them 60 days to respond, and time for us to then (put) forward a resolution, which we will bring back to the council, to notify the lieutenant governor’s office,” he told the city council.

The city administrator added that the county does not have to wait the full 60 days and “they could come back next week.”

“I would hope that they would quickly turn this around,” he said.

Councilmember Rob Shelton recommended that the resolution be amended to specify that the tax would be in place for 10 years and to “make sure that that’s in all of our documentation moving forward.”

“And this is just me being me and a little analytical here,” said Shelton, “that’s just going to be me as a hawk watching this thing.”

Other Utah County cities, including Lehi and Springville, also are considering putting a RAP tax question on the November ballot.

Utah County cities that collect taxes to fund cultural and recreational organizations include Provo, Orem and Spanish Fork.

Connor Richards covers government, the environment and south Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at crichards@heraldextra.com and 801-344-2599.

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