Agency opposes recreation bond
June 19, 2012
The North Summit Recreation District suffered another setback in passing an $8.5 million bond on Monday when the Utah Taxpayers Association formally came out against the measure one week before residents are expected to vote on it.
North Summit Recreation District Board members decreased the bond amount from $15 million last month after residents said the price tag would make their property taxes too high. At a public hearing before the Summit County Council in May, about 40 residents asked to have the bond removed from the ballot altogether because they believed the facility was unnecessary. The Recreation District wants to build a center that would include an indoor playing field, gym, and track.
Chase Everton from the Utah Taxpayers Association said they decided to formally oppose the bond because it is being placed on a Primary Election ballot and the cost per-homeowner is too expensive.
"Anytime a bond is on a June ballot, a red flag goes up for us," he said. "If a bond is going to be voted on in June it should be for priority things like infrastructure. Also, the amount of people who would use the facility that this bond is going to pay for is small, so the cost to residents and business-owners is pretty high."
Recreation District Board members anticipate that the average homeowner in North Summit will pay an additional $13 per-month if the bond and levy to build the recreation facility are passed. But Everton said that will turn into a lot more taxes for second-homeowners and business-owners.
"Businesses and secondary homeowners with the average property value of $232,000 will end up paying $302 more in taxes each year," he said. "Residents still may have to pay for operating costs or membership fees on top of property taxes as well. Residents reached out to us and expressed their concerns with the facility and higher property taxes"
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Brandon Reef, a North Summit Recreation District board member said he met with the Taxpayers Association last month and their announcement Monday morning came as no surprise.
"When we all talked, they pretty much said they automatically oppose any bond in June," Reef said. "It wouldn’t matter how small our bond was. Their announcement comes with no new information for the public about the matter and I don’t think it will change a lot of people’s minds."
Reef added that by now, residents have decided how they feel about the bond and that very few people have asked questions about the financing or proposed facility.
"There are a few groups out there that feel really strongly one way or the other, but overall, very few people are really outspoken about it," he said.
Everton said he was unsure whether the Taxpayers Association will take any more steps to oppose the bond prior to the election but have considered sending out mailers to North Summit residents.
North Summit residents will vote on the bond, known as Proposition 1, during the Primary Election on Tuesday, June 26. For more information on bond visit http://www.summitcounty.org/clerk