Where does taxpayer money go? Richmond’s recorder knows

RICHMOND—Taxpayers want to know where their dollars are being spent. Are they being spent wisely? Justin Lewis, Richmond’s city recorder, knows where the money goes.

Much of the money spent by Richmond comes three different funds: the general fund, the sewer enterprise fund and the water enterprise fund. These funds are allocated specifically, and can only be directed towards related, designated entities.

“The general fund comes from a class C road tax or gas tax, property tax, sales tax and franchise tax,” said Lewis. “General funds house everything except water, sewer and storm water in most cases.”

This year $20,000 was set aside in the city’s general fund budget for sidewalk construction and improvement. The standing policy for years has been that if there is an existing sidewalk and the property owner is willing to pay for, or perform the labor themselves the city will provide the materials.

“This enables the city to do almost twice as much work with the same amount in the budget,” said Lewis. “The full allotment in this category is always spent.”

The City Council recently discussed construction of a restroom in the new nature park, which would be funded partially through the general fund and also through RAPZ tax.

The RAPZ tax is a 0.1 percent sales tax in Cache County used to fund recreation, arts, parks and zoos. For the past ten years the city has contributed to the RAPZ tax. From 2004-2012, $190,000 from RAPZ tax has gone towards Richmond community projects.

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.