Minutes of the Special Price City Council Meeting

City Hall, Room 207

September 12, 2006, 2:00 p.m.



Mayor Joe L. Piccolo


Richard Tatton                          Pat Larsen, Finance Director

            Jeff Nielson                                          Nick Sampinos, City Attorney

            Kathy Hanna-Smith                              Lisa Richens, Accounting

            Rick Davis                                            Laurie Tryon, City Recorder

                                                                        Nick Tatton, Community Director


Also Present: Mike Milovich, Carbon County Commmissioner

          Delynn Fielding, Carbon County

Excused: Councilmember Jeanne McEvoy


1.                ZAP TAX WORKSHOP- Price City has determined that it is in the best interest of the City and its residents to pursue a referendum allowing registered voters within Price City to consider the imposition of an additional 0.10% sales and use tax. This tax is referred to as the Botanical, Cultural, Recreational and Zoological sales and use tax, or ZAP tax. The purpose of the ZAP tax is to generate revenues to maintain, enhance and construct recreational facilities and projects that are owned and operated by the City.  In order to avoid an increase in general property tax to maintain the current level of service, the City has determined that a ZAP tax would allow for approximately 50% of the necessary revenue to come from persons residing outside of Price City who purchase goods and services within the City.


Mike Milovich, Carbon County Commissioner feels that in order to implement the ZAP tax within Price City and Carbon County, a two-year agreement needs to be put into place. At the end of the two-years, the agreement could then be assessed for changes or updates necessary to continue with the ZAP tax as planned without interruption. Without the two-year limit, future commissioners would be bound by a decision they may or may not be entirely comfortable continuing. The county has other large projects in the making and with the changing economy, a 4 or 8 year agreement is just not something Commissioner Milovich is comfortable doing.  Price City would have a difficult time with the two-year limit as the ZAP tax would just be getting off the ground and then be halted for reevaluation. Commissioner Milovich sees the tax as subject to the economy and if the economy were to go down, the ZAP tax would disappear. He would like to see Price City check into a broader chance to raise taxes and doesn’t see this as a chance to raise a lot of money. Commissioner Milovich would rather see an increase in property taxes instead of this type of tax. Price City has researched the ZAP tax quite extensively and is ready to implement this tax as soon as possible. This money would be a good way to offset the current recreation and pool costs. Raising additional money is not the issue. The issue is offsetting costs as much as possible in order to reduce debt. A property tax still may be necessary in the future, but for now Price City can reduce costs and offset expenses associated with the pool and recreational facilities by implementing the ZAP tax.  Councilmember Hanna-Smith recommends the tax knowing that Price City cannot always protect itself from economy and revenue changes and cannot foresee everything in the future. Mayor Piccolo also recommends this tax as it will benefit Price City and Carbon County with recreational facility costs such as trailhead expansion and the pool. He would like to become a team player with Carbon County and adopt the ZAP tax now. When the two-year time period ends, the Mayor would like to see the tax continue without interruption. City Attorney, Nick Sampinos is concerned with the two-year period as the County may change their minds, voters could then vote no and Price City would be at a loss. If the County wants to impose the ZAP tax without Price City, a two-year notice may need to be given to Price City and stated so in the agreement. Commissioner Milovich recommended setting up an inter-local agreement to share revenues in order for Price City to continue to collect their share if the County discontinues the tax and to have the collection based on population of surrounding cities.  Price City needs to do a resolution now in order to get it on the ballot and needs County approval. The County has until Oct. 24th to grant approval to the City which doesn’t give us a lot of time to educate the public. 

The City Attorney was directed to prepare a proposed interlocal agreement concerning this issue for presentation to the County Commission.



Meeting adjourned at 2:48 p.m.





                                                                        Joe L. Piccolo, Mayor





Laurie Tryon, City Recorder