After about a month of collecting taxes from its newly-implemented RAP tax, Spanish fork is looking for applications for how to spend the revenues.
The Recreation, Arts and Parks tax started being collected in Spanish Fork on April 1, after voters approved the tax’s collection in the November election. The sales tax amounts to one penny per $10 spent.
Spanish Fork is estimating that the city will receive about $550,000 per year in revenue from the new tax, said city spokesman Scott Aylett, though Spanish Fork has yet to see the first dime. Because of the time it takes the funds to be processed by the state and given back to Spanish Fork, the city expects to see the first proceeds from the tax around the end of June.
In the meantime, Spanish Fork is accepting applications for how to spend the money that comes in before the city budget is finalized in June.
To apply for the tax money, an organization needs to be either a city-funded recreation, arts or cultural program, such as the arts council or the parks department, or a 501©3. It must also have a presence in Spanish Fork and a primary purpose having to do with the advancement or preservation of natural history, art, music, theater, dance or cultural arts.
An online application is available at spanishfork.org/rap, but anyone who wants to apply has only until May 31 before the window for the year closes. Those applications then go before a RAP committee, which will review whether or not the applications meet requirements before making a recommendation to the Spanish Fork City Council, which will choose which applications to include in its 2020 FY budget.
“We understand we probably won’t have a lot of applicants this year,” Aylett said, though the city does not have to allocate all the funds it expects to receive.
“Let’s say we receive $500,000, and we only allocate $300,000,” Aylett said. “The balance would just remain in that fund and we could use it the next year or roll it over for a large project in the future.”
While it’s too early to tell what projects may be funded this year, Aylett said council members have expressed interest funding in an all-abilities park at some point, as well as supplementing the number and quality of arts programs in the city.
“We do a great job already with our youth arts festival during the summer with the number of kids that participate, and we would love to see more kids participate and see more class offerings,” Aylett said.
If Spanish Fork residents want to give input as to how the funds should be spent, they can contact their city council member or attend Spanish Fork city council meetings to give public comment. Meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Spanish Fork city building.