RAP Tax passes overwhelmingly in Wasatch County
A sales tax that failed in Wasatch County by a razor-thin margin in the 2021 election passed easily this year.
In its second try, Wasatch County residents overwhelmingly supported the recreation, arts and parks tax.
This year, 6,968 voted yes for the sales tax, and 5,760 voted no, out of a total of nearly 13,000 voters. That’s a margin of over 1,200 more in support of the measure.
It adds a tenth of a percent to sales county-wide. That means people will spend an additional penny for every $10, excluding grocery sales.
Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dallin Koecher said the result reflects hard work by local leaders who campaigned for the sales tax to boost community programs. And in an area with a heavy focus already on recreation, he said it'll provide a boost for the arts community as well.
"We've been very grateful for the county to provide funding for the art council," Koecher said, "so we're looking forward to what this additional funding can do for our arts programs to help them succeed and continue to grow. So, very excited about that."
The money generated by the tax will be reserved for arts programs and facilities, parks and trails. Wasatch County, Heber City and Midway governments have an interlocal agreement to split the revenues by shares equivalent to population differences.
Koecher said preliminary estimates show it could generate $800,000 next year, and visitors to the county would contribute about half of that.
In recent years RAP taxes have been adopted in several other cities and counties in Utah, including Summit County, Salt Lake County, Provo, Orem, Duchesne City and Spanish Fork.
In 2021, the measure came up short in Wasatch County by just eight votes out of over 7,600.
According to Wasatch County Clerk Joey Granger, the count includes 13,094 voters’ ballots out of a total of 20,700 active voters. That’s a 63% turnout. But, she said that doesn’t include hundreds of outstanding ballots that require further review, mostly ballots that included write-in candidates.