05 Oct 2020

Support the Arts in Summit County

by Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Staff

Have you ever enjoyed a magical evening of music in the mountains at the Deer Valley® Music Festival? If you have, you have reaped the benefits of the Summit County RAP Tax! This tax has provided tremendous support to Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, and more specifically, the Deer Valley® Music Festival, since the tax was first passed in 2000. This grant money has enabled us to bring world-class guest artists to the Deer Valley® Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater and in recent years has been pivotal in our community pop-up concert series.

This letter from Jocelyn Scudder, Executive Director of the Park City & Summit County Arts Council explains why the RAP Tax is so beneficial to Summit County:

As Summit County residents, we take pride in our sense of place and local identity built on history, culture, and our natural surroundings. Many of us choose to live in Summit County due to the exceptional quality of life. A priority for Summit County is to support the infrastructures that support that lifestyle. This support comes in providing resources through RAP Tax to build, maintain and support recreational facilities, cultural organizations and trail systems.

20 years ago, Summit County residents voted to levy a local, non-food, sales and use tax of 1/10th of 1 cent to fund Recreation, Arts and Parks (RAP Tax). RAP Tax was reauthorized 10 years ago, and it’s time to renew it again. This is an opportunity for our community to invest in the future of our recreation, arts, and parks programs and amenities that we enjoy because of the RAP Tax.

RAP Tax is a sales tax of only one penny on every $10 dollars spent in Summit County. Over half of RAP Tax is paid by visitors but directly benefits Summit County residents. RAP Tax is not a new tax; rather, it’s a simple renewal of an existing, critical funding source for county-wide recreation and arts.

Since 2000, over $20 million in RAP grants have enabled cultural, parks and recreational organizations throughout Summit County to improve their programs and facilities to make Summit County an incredible place to call home. RAP funding supports the Oakley Rodeo, South Summit Aquatic Center, Coalville & South Summit High recreation facilities, Summit County Fair, the MARC, Park City Ice Arena, Skateboard Parks, Mountain Town Music, Egyptian Theatre, Alf Engen Ski Museum, Kimball Art Center, Deer Valley® Music Festival, Park City Film—and the list goes on.

As Executive Director of the Arts Council of Park City & Summit County, I am a vocal advocate for community support of arts and culture. It connects and unifies all areas of the County. COVID-19 severely impacted recreation and arts programs. It is critical to protect and fortify our recreation and arts entities which are major employers and essential components of our tourism economy. They will be a key to rebuilding. I firmly believe if RAP Tax is discontinued, our community will feel the negative effects for years to come.

If you have hiked or biked our amazing trails, enjoyed a summer evening concert at Deer Valley or an intimate performance at the historic Egyptian Theatre, or the wide range of recreation and cultural heritage facilities in North Summit, South Summit, and Snyderville Basin, then you have experienced the benefits of RAP Tax funding.

I hope you’ll join me in voting to provide a critical source of revenue for Recreation, Arts, and Parks by voting FOR the reauthorization of RAP Sales Tax. Let’s keep this community active and vibrant!

Creatively yours,
Jocelyn Scudder

We are grateful for the support and are proud to be able to bring great live music to Summit County. Please vote YES on Prop 21 to reauthorize RAP tax!

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