Record editorial: RAP tax, up for reauthorization, has enriched life in Summit County
Perhaps you look forward all year to perusing the annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival on Main Street. Or you frequent the many trails and parks maintained by Basin Recreation. Maybe you delight in the free outdoor concerts put on by Mountain Town Music during a typical summer.
If you enjoy all three, you’re certainly not alone.
But these are just a few of the things that are funded, in part, with money generated from the recreation, arts and parks (RAP) sales-and-use tax, a countywide tax of 1/10th of 1 cent on purchases on certain non-food goods that goes toward supporting local arts and culture nonprofits and recreation entities.
This election, Summit County voters are faced with deciding whether to reauthorize the RAP tax for another 10 years. Even during a pandemic that has thrust the economy into a downturn and caused enormous financial strain, voting in favor of the tax (Proposition 21 on the ballot) is a no-brainer. Put simply, it has enriched the lives of residents — as well as second-home owners and visitors — in significant and countless ways since voters first approved it 20 years ago.
Last year alone, for instance, the RAP tax generated more than $2 million for Summit County, money that is ultimately granted to dozens of organizations such as Park City Film, the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, the Park Silly Sunday Market and the North Summit Recreation District for a wide range of programs and initiatives. In the two decades since the inception of the tax, it has raised more than $25 million.
In addition to increasing the quality of life in Summit County, the money provides an economic boost, aiding organizations that make the Park City area even more enticing to visitors, who quickly learn that our community has much more to offer beyond world-class skiing.
Yet for all its benefits, on an individualized basis, the tax burden is small, adding up to just $1 on $1,000 spent. And, what’s more, a vote in favor of renewing the RAP tax is not a vote for a tax increase — the rate will be the same as what we have been paying over the last two decades, meaning the impact to residents’ pocketbooks is negligible.
As everyone who lives or plays here knows, there are many things that make Summit County special. High on the list are the many entities supported by the RAP tax.
With your vote, make sure that continues to be true for at least 10 more years.
The Nov. 3 election will be conducted primarily through mail-in balloting. The deadline to register online to vote is Friday. For more information, visit the Summit County Clerk’s website at summitcounty.org/281/Voter-Registration-Elections.
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