Provo will start collecting RAP tax April 1

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Bicentennial Park in south Provo is one of the parks that would benefit from a RAP tax. (Photo courtesy Provo city)

Bicentennial Park in south Provo is one of the parks that would benefit from a RAP tax. (Photo courtesy Provo city)

Starting April 1, 2016, anyone who shops in Provo will pay an additional 0.1 percent sales tax — or 1 cent for every $10 spent — to fund recreation, arts and parks in the city.

First, voters had to approve the RAP tax, which happened a few weeks ago, then the city council had to approve it, which happened Tuesday night with a 6–1 vote — Councilman Kay Van Buren voted against it.

The next step is for the city to give notice to the state Tax Commission to start collecting the tax. Under state law that happens no earlier than 90 days after the notice and on the first day of the fiscal quarter — aka April 1, said council attorney Brian Jones.

[pullquote]”When I look at the recreation, arts and parks tax, what it can do for the city of Provo is absolutely amazing. … There’s not a neighborhood in the city that will not see some major impacts from the money raised from this tax.” —Roger Thomas, Provo’s parks and recreation director[/pullquote]

The tax will be on the books for 10 years, then will have to be reauthorized by voters, he said.

“When I look at the recreation, arts and parks tax, what it can do for the city of Provo is absolutely amazing,” said Roger Thomas, Provo’s parks and recreation director. … “There’s not a neighborhood in the city that will not see some major impacts from the money raised from this tax.”

He said he’s grateful for the trust the people of Provo gave to his department when they approved the bond for the city’s rec center and now this tax, and “I guarantee you’ll also be very impressed about what the tax can do over the next 10 years for recreation, arts and parks.”

Orem and American Fork already collect a RAP tax. Voters in Lehi rejected the measure this year.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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