Utah voters renew tax supporting the arts

Posted on: November 6, 2014

“It looks like the Zoo, Arts and Parks tax will be around for another 10 years in Salt Lake County,” reports Mike Gorrell in Wednesday’s (11/5) Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), concerning results from Tuesday’s elections. “More than three-quarters of partial unofficial returns favored continuation of the tax, which since 1997 has added a penny tax to every $10 purchase in the county to provide funding for zoological, cultural, botanical, recreational and artistic programs. The tax enjoys broad-based support, unifying Republicans and Democrats on the nine-member County Council. It also was backed by nearly 170 organizations—from the Utah Symphony and Opera to the Utah Brazilian Festival—that divide ZAP funding. Opposition to the extension came from the business-backed Utah Taxpayers Association, which objects philosophically to earmarking revenues for certain recipients, limiting government’s flexibility to use the money for greater needs that may arise. Through the years, the ZAP tax has raised $8.9 million to $14.9 million annually for its recipients. In 2013, the tax generated $13.3 million.”

The Utah Symphony | Opera states that the tax program accounts for more than 10 percent of its annual operating budget.

Posted November 6, 2014