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Helper considering small tax for parks,arts and recreation

Sun Advocate associate editor

The Helper City Council is moving ahead with a plan that would add a penny to the sales tax on every $10 worth of goods purchased in town.

It's called a RAP Tax, an acronym for "Recreation, Arts, and Parks." Helper wants to levy a 0.1 percent tax on sales to set up a special fund for these items. State law allows it, and Price has had one in place for about six years now.

On Thursday, the council voted to direct City Attorney Gene Strate to research and write an ordinance for the tax. It will take citizen approval at the ballot box to increase the sales tax. The current rate in Helper is 5.95 percent.

Mayor Dean Armstrong said the measure would not be a quick fix. It will take years to accumulate enough money to do anything meaningful at the city parks, ball fields, library, pool and museum. However, it is a start, and Helper Utah Business, an organization of downtown businesses, supports it.

Council member Robert Bradley agreed and offered the motion that was accepted unanimously.

On Friday, Price City's Community Director Nick Tatton confirmed that his town's ZAP Tax (Zoo, Arts and Parks) has been a useful source of funds for projects.

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