I’m writing regarding the Sevier County Special Bond Election. The $3.5 million bond will be used to construct the multi-million-dollar Richfield City/Snow College Recreation and Aquatic Center, aka the Sevier Community Development Center (which I think is a misnomer). This vote is NOT a vote on whether to build this facility, but a vote on whether all taxpayers in Sevier County should help pay for it…whether they will benefit from it or not. If you live outside Richfield, you must ask yourself, “How will this benefit me/us?” I think you will see that it does not. Many are asking, “if we vote yes, will our taxes increase?” Those in favor of having Sevier County pay a third of the construction costs and a fourth of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs say “the short answer is no.” However, the accurate answer is yes. When the bond for the SVC is paid, your property tax assessment will decrease because you will no longer be paying for the SVC. You will see a tax decrease. If you vote to support a County bond to pay for the Richfield Rec Center, your tax assessment will then go up again and you will see a tax increase. You may be paying less on this bond than you were for the SVC bond, but if you vote NO you will be able to keep the full tax decrease. In addition to the bond, the County has agreed to pay $125,000 toward the estimated O&M each year. This will come out of the general fund. As the facility ages, costs will increase; and we will most probably see a tax increase to cover these expenses. (The Commissioners confirmed this during the public meeting held Sept. 10.) As I have gathered information, I found it interesting to learn that the North Sevier Recreation Center in Salina was built without increasing taxes at all and without County financial support. The O&M is paid by our PAR tax, which is not a property tax but 1/10 of 1% sales tax. (So, anyone paying sales tax here helps support the facility, not just property owners. It is a much more equitable tax.) Also, the Salina City pool will be built, operated and maintained by Salina taxpayers, NOT by taxpayers outside Salina. Why then should County property owners outside of Richfield help pay for their pool? VOTE NO before November 5.

Carol Lowman


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