CACHE COUNTY – Due to voters and taxpayers who have supported the annual RAPZ/Restaurant Tax program, grants of more than $2.8 million have recently been made to 58 public and private organizations in Cache County.
“Cache County is a better place today thanks to the many community organizations who will use these funds for great programs, events and facilities,” said Cache County Executive David Zook.
Zook serves as chairman of the County RAPZ/Restaurant Tax committee.
County Council Chair Barbara Y. Tidwell, also a member of that committee, expressed great appreciation to other members of the panel, which includes citizens from all areas of the county.
“Allocation decisions are not arbitrary,” she explained. “They are based on a lot of time, research and thoughtful consideration by every member of the committee.”
Cache County has collected a 1 percent sales tax on prepared food since 1992 to fund support for tourism, recreation and the cultural arts.
The RAPZ (Recreation, Arts, Parks and Zoos) tax — which is a tenth of 1 percent sales tax — was added in 2002 to support capital projects and the operating expenses of local recreational venues.
Since 2002, organizations in Cache County have been awarded more than $64 million in grants.
That included more than $26 million from RAPZ revenues for projects that support recreation, arts, parks and Zootah at Willow Park.
The county has also collected and distributed an addition $28 million from the 1 percent Restaurant Tax revenues. Those funds can be used for either capital projects or maintenance expenses by publicly-owned facilities for tourism promotion, recreation, cultural arts, convention centers and airports.
Private non-profit organizations are eligible to receive Restaurant Tax funds only for tourism promotion.
For example, three local cities – North Logan, Hyde Park and Nibley – have used $2 million in RAPZ funds to develop brand new parks. Most other cities in Cache County have used the grant funds to expand parks in their communities.
This year, the members of the Cache County Council approved grants of $2.8 million from the county’s RAPZ/Restaurant Tax revenues of $3.2 million.
After weighing 69 requests totaling more than $5.5 million, the council approved only 58 of them. A total of 16 grants were fully funded; the remaining 42 requests were partially funded.
“We have great trails, parks, performing arts programs, public events and so many amenities in our county today that have been supported by these funds,” Zook said.
“I’m thankful for the voters and taxpayers who have supported the RAPZ program who have made these community improvements possible,” he added.