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Voters support arts, parks tax hikes and open space

Posted at 3:58 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 19:50:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Voters across Utah are overwhelmingly supporting small tax hikes to fund recreation, arts and parks (RAP) programs.

Preliminary election results show RAP tax hikes of one-tenth of a cent passing in a number of cities across the state, including some with big margins. Kaysville approved a tax increase for recreation, arts and parks with 70% of the vote. American Fork voters approved a reauthorization of theirs, 76% to 24%.

Other cities that approved RAP taxes on Tuesday include South Weber, Highland, Lehi and Springville. Only Wasatch County's RAP tax was uncertain. As of Wednesday, it was too close to call and in danger of failing by 10 votes (50.07% against versus 49.93% in favor).

In preliminary results, Summit County voters approved an open space bond on the ballot. Highland voters also appear to have rejected an effort to dispose of some open space and trails.

Overall, voters in 40 cities across Utah have approved RAP taxes which pay for everything from parks and recreation programs to cultural events and help fund arts events in communities across Utah. They are consistently the most popular taxes, passing by big margins.

"Voters love it," said Crystal Young, the executive director of the Utah Cultural Alliance, which supported the RAP taxes. "These are the kinds of investments that voters want, that they want to see in their communities. They want to see more of the arts and culture opportunities, they want to see more parks."