RAP, restaurant taxes yield $3.6 million for arts, tourism | ParkRecord.com

RAP, restaurant taxes yield $3.6 million for arts, tourism

The back room of Red Rock Junction. About 70 applicants asked for $6 million from RAP tax revenue, close to double the available money
Carolyn Webber Alder/Park Record, file

About 65 organizations will split more than $3.5 million in funding after the Summit County Council approved recommendations about how to dole out the proceeds from two special taxes.

The recreation, arts and parks (RAP) tax contributed $943,000 for arts and culture, while the restaurant tax created a pool of $2.7 million, mostly to support tourism.

The RAP tax is one-tenth of 1 percent of the sales tax collected county-wide, and was approved in 2000. The restaurant tax, in its 28th year, is collected from 1 percent of prepared food sales.

There’s more money to go around this year, with the combined pool jumping about $700,000 over 2018 numbers. More than 70 applicants applied for more than $6 million in grants, nearly double the money available.

RAP-tax grant applications are evaluated by a committee on three equal criteria: artistic/cultural vibrancy, public benefit/outreach, and organizational outreach. Ben Castro, who chairs the committee that evaluates the applications, said he’d like to see increased involvement on the eastern side of the county.

“We continued to push for this outreach for eastern Summit County,” Castro said. “It’s being heard, but maybe not accepted or adopted as much as we’d like.”

The restaurant tax applications are also evaluated by a committee, which uses five criteria, including boosting tourism, the ability to leverage the money and the potential to increase the restaurant tax revenues.

The County Council unanimously adopted the recommendations with no changes.

The largest grants the RAP tax committee doled out were for $80,000, which went to KPCW, Mountain Town Music, the Sundance Institute and the Utah Symphony and Opera/Deer Valley Music Festival.

The restaurant tax committee granted $400,000 to the Park City Lodging Association for the Delta Fly Free promotion, which aims to increase tourism during slower times in the ski season, mainly in early December, as well as March and April, according to county documents.

The tax has contributed $325,000 to the program each of the last two years and $275,000 in 2016. The money will offset the price for people who buy tickets on Delta through this program, and will purchase online advertisements. The committee requested data in next year’s application about how many users are new versus returning.

Another $180,000 went to the Park City Lodging Association for its Biking Park City campaign to encourage first time, out-of-state bikers.

The committee granted $345,764 to the Park City Restaurant Association to advertise and promote its culinary program, $325,000 for the Park City Chamber/Bureau’s spring marketing campaign, $225,000 to the Sundance Institute for marketing, $125,000 to market the Egyptian Theater outside Summit County and $105,000 to U.S. Ski and Snowboard for television production costs for a World Cup stop.

Other notable grants include $95,000 for the Utah Symphony and Opera for the Deer Valley Music Festival, $90,000 for a soccer field in Francis and $15,000 for the Oakley Rodeo.

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