This has to do with a RAP (recreation, arts, parks) tax several cities (notably Bountiful and Centerville) have been preparing to push for several years. They recently asked the County Commission to place the issue on the ballot:
The Bountiful and Centerville city councils had formally requested some kind of action by the county commission. Mayor Ronald Russell has been backing a performing arts center in his community that could house the Rodgers Memorial Theatre, and possibly other groups from south Davis County.
The county commission followed through on what was anticipated, Tuesday, passing a resolution against placing RAP on a countywide ballot under their auspices. [emphasis added]
One of the commissioners indicated nobody wanted the RAP tax last time because it wasn’t explained well enough (instead of voters not wanting have a higher tax burden to fund someone’s hobby):
“I also think in the past there have been RAP tax issues put on ballots, but because of the scope of trying to get the word out to everybody on a countywide basis, the issue has been lost in the numbers,” Downs said.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Bountiful and Centerville end up placing the measure on the ballot (hopefully, it will be defeated, again).
Why should we raise the tax on food and place another drag on the local economy simply for funding a mayor’s, councilmember’s, or special interest’s pet project (all of which may be the same)? We shouldn’t just as I don’t expect people to fund my hobbies – that’s my responsibility and nobody else’s.
I also find it interesting that Bountiful just can’t stop itself from wanting more and more taxes despite what appears to be large monetary surpluses (see link in preceding paragraph).
In terms of the parks – if we lack some open space that is a failure of the local government to properly plan development, in my opinion. If we need more (decided we wanted more), then let’s raise the money etc., voluntarily, as a community instead of demanding everyone be taxed for our desire – I would like a park closer to where I live, but I’m not about to demand someone else pay for my pleasure.
Finally, if you think your project is so important and popular (particularly when it outside the scope of traditional government roles and responsibilities) either run a citizen initiative or gain the funding etc through community support and involvement. Instead, some interest groups have decided to use an ‘end run’ around the community and appeal to government officials.