Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson continues to push the RAP tax. He even made the front page of the Clipper. The article starts off with:
Sometimes an insignificant amount of money can do wonders for a community.
1. Why should I or anyone else be forced to pay any amount of money for your hobbies and interests? Especially if the amounts you seek are insignificant, let users pay it. I pay for my hobbies and would find it offensive to force others to pay for the them (and yes, some of my interests could be aided by this tax).
2. “Insignificant” amounts of money add up. It seems, nearly perennially, that some tax or fee is marketed to us with the shtick of being small or tiny or insignificant so ‘why be such a tightwad miser’ and just cough up the money. Here’s what we are left with:
Since 2002, Davis officials have proposed multiple tax increases. A partial list of these includes:
* 2002 — County commissioners proposed a 138 percent property tax increase and eventually enacted a 24 percent increase ($152 per year on a $163,000 home).
* 2004 — After “conservative” state legislators authorized the creation of special-recreation districts, the “conservative” county commissioners and mayors in South Davis County created the South Davis Recreation District and implemented a new property tax ($52 per year on $180,000 homes).
* 2004 — A Davis County RAP tax supported by mayors across the county was placed on the ballot by county commissioners and defeated by the voters.
* 2004 — The school district increased property taxes in order to get Legislature-approved matching funds for reading programs ($12 per year on a $167,000 home).
* 2006 — 1.25 percent tourism tax enacted by commissioners after state legislators gave them the authority to raise taxes.
* 2006 — Mosquito Abatement District property tax increase approved ($2.50 per year on a $171,000 home).
* 2006 — 37 percent property tax increase passed by Commissioner Alan Hansen and two lame duck commissioners while commissioners-elect P. Bret Milburn and Louenda H. Downs gave their tacit approval by their silence. ($60 per year on a $171,000 home).
* 2007 — $10 vehicle registration fee increase enacted by county commissioners with encouragement of state legislators.
* 2007 — School district proposes a $35 per year property tax increase on a $230,000 home — again for reading programs — in order to get legislator-approved matching funds.
* 2007 — .1 percent RAP sales tax placed on ballot by county commissioners at request of mayors and with authorization granted by legislators.
* 2007 — .25 percent sales tax increase placed on ballot by county commissioners, authorized and encouraged to do so by state legislators.
Again, these amounts (just the last 5 years) in addition to all the other fees/taxes add up to large burdensome amounts, especially for those living on fixed incomes or starting families (especially when attempting to buy their first home).
3. It is worth noting that this tax will also disproportionately affect those on fixed income, young families, and the poor – those who spend a greater proportion of their income on necessities such as food. The tax will increase your food bills as well as costs for other needs.
Johnson goes on to state:
“When RAP failed several years ago, we couldn’t even tell voters what we were going to do with the money. We just said ‘Trust us,’ and I didn’t blame them at all for not passing it.”
Unfortunately, that is basically the same case this time as well. The only thing they plan blowing the tax money on right now is a ‘regional theater’. Even the theater only accounts for half the money. Ultimately it is still “trust us”.
What I do trust is that those with control of the budget would be sure to fund their own pet projects which they or their friends are involved in as demonstrated here: City Slush Fund$ (Bountiful)
In the end this all goes back to defining our needs and wants and which of those others should be burdened with. I prefer to keep my wants off the backs of others.