RAPZ a Hot-Button Issue for Cache Voters

Nov 2, 2012

One penny for every ten dollars spent. That’s what Cache County needs from voters in order to continue the Recreation, Arts, Parks, and Zoos tax—better known as the RAPZ tax. The tax, which excludes food purchases, was approved by voters in 2002 and is now up for renewal.

Many officials and beneficiaries have argued for the tax, saying it has been a boon for the local economy. North Logan recreation coordinator Brett Daniels supports RAPZ funding.

"I don't think there's a weekend during the summer now in Cache Valley where there's not an event—a bike race, a fun run, the Cruise-In, Summerfest—where there's not a major activity going on in Cache Valley. And in this time when we're trying to stimulate our economy, this is not a time to get rid of this. This is a time to continue to invest in our community."

Charles Geraci of the Herald Journal has been monitoring public support for the tax.

"Just in the reporting on this, it does seem like the officials themselves are personally supportive of the tax, and we'll probably hear more of that as time goes on."

Some opponents, like Royce Van Tassel of the Utah Taxpayers Association, feel that RAPZ is just another undue tax burden on Cache County residents.

"People consistently indicate that they want lower taxes, and here's an opportunity for the folks of Cache County to say, 'You know what? We're ready to see our taxes go down, and gosh darn it, we are not going to support this tax increase.'"

But Wally Bloss of the Cache Valley Center for the Arts thinks the RAPZ tax is uniquely transparent compared to most other taxes.

"It's one the rare taxes that we actually have the opportunity to see where the dollars are going in a very specific way. We actually have friends and neighbors that make those decisions. It's not decided in Washington, it's not decided in Salt Lake; it's decided right here. Now that's a pretty rare thing in a tax."

The RAPZ tax is the only proposition on the ballot for Cache County.