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Votes still being counted for S. Utah’s RAP tax

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Posted at 10:38 PM, Nov 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-11 00:38:08-05

ST GEORGE, Utah -- Sport organizations are anxious to hear how the city plans to use funds from newly passed RAP taxes. The measure narrowly passed during last week’s election, but the results may still be up in the air.

Proposition 3 was ahead by 633 votes on election night, but Washington County Clerk Kim Hafen said 2,047 votes still have to be counted. It’s enough to swing the decision.

“That includes provisional and absentee ballots that came in before the deadline,” Hafen said.

The RAP tax would impose a .01 percent increase on Washington County sales tax.

St George city officials have said it has the potential to generate up to $1.2 million annually to support recreation, arts and park projects in the city.

“We have received commitments from municipalities that if they have the RAP tax money, they can expedite the building of new sports complexes,” said Southern Utah Soccer Association president Steve Kemp.

For youth sport organizations like the SUSA, that would be a solution to their problem of space. Kemp said a growing number of participants have left them struggling to find fields for matches.

“Most of our problems have been solved with Washington County public schools allowing us to use their playgrounds,” Kemp said. “The problem we have is those fields are being requested from not only soccer, but football, rugby, lacrosse.”

St George City mayor Jon Pike has said they would use RAP tax funds to finish the Little Valley complex in the southwest area of the city. That project would give sports more room, but those plans could be for naught if the final vote swings another way.

Hafen said it’s possible, but doesn’t seem likely.

“The votes we’re going to count didn’t come from one particular precinct, one particular area, they’re just across the board,” Hafen said. “And they really should follow the rest of the trend, but we’ll see.”

The election results will be certified at the county commission meeting next week.