By Dave Iltis and Cimarron Chacon
Editorial: Cyclists Should Vote Yes to Renew the ZAP Tax in Salt Lake County, RAMP Tax in Weber County, and the RAP Tax in Washington County
In the November 4, 2014 General Election, the Zoo, Arts, and Parks Tax will be up for renewal in Salt Lake County, Utah. The ZAP tax is an additional 0.1% levy on sales. It amounts to one penny on a $10 purchase. The tax goes to support the Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary, the Utah Symphony, and many small arts organizations. Additionally, 30% of the tax collected goes to Parks and Recreation programs, “Publicly owned or operated parks, campgrounds, playgrounds, athletic fields, gymnasiums, swimming pools, and trails, or other facilities used for recreational purposes.”
The tax expires at the end of 2016. The ballot initiative is to renew the tax for an additional 10 years.
The tax has had enormous benefits for cycling in Salt Lake County. Proceeds from the tax have helped to build the Jordan River Parkway, the Big Cottonwood Trail, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, and the PRATT Trail. Big Cottonwood Regional Park and Wheeler Farm, sites of several cyclocross races each year, has also received funds from the ZAP tax.
The allocation of this 30% is determined by the Salt Lake County Council, but will be guided by the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The plan is currently being updated. More information on the plan is available here: http://slco.org/recreation/planning/
Washington County Utah will have the opportunity to vote on November 4th, 2014 for PROP 3 in support of the Recreation Arts and Parks (RAP) tax. The RAP tax would bring in extra resources to improve and maintain Washington County’s beloved Recreation, Arts, and Parks (RAP). The tax is a 1/10 of 1 % sales tax on non-food items. The tax would be divided based on population and point of sale between the various communities in Washington County; with a portion staying with the County for at-large projects. Of the potential $2.2 million that could be generated annually, communities and non-profits could leverage these funds with other grants to create significant projects in support of cycling and trails. Many of the communities have already discussed projects such as bike parks, trail heads and linking trails to existing recreation trails, more funding for events, and extensions for our pathways to link Ivins to Springdale. If you live in Washington County VOTE yes on PROP 3 – the RAP tax.
In Weber County, the RAMP Tax is up for renewal as well. The tax helps to fund parks and bike trails. Monies have gone towards building trails, helping the Bicycle Collective, and installing bike repair stations. (http://www.cyclingutah.com/advocacy/ogden-to-install-6-new-bike-repair-stations-in-spring-2014/ )
Cycling Utah is calling on all cyclists to vote in November 2014, and to vote for the renewal of the ZAP tax in Salt Lake County, the renewal of the RAMP Tax in Weber County, and the passage of the RAP Tax in Washington County.