City pursues 0.1% sales tax for recreation, arts, parks

Tax subject to county review, voter approval

the MARC
The MARC is one of several City of Moab entities that could benefit from a 0.1% bump in the Recreation, Art and Parks tax. Photo by Doug McMurdo

The final remaining sales tax that Moab has left to implement, as allowed by the State of Utah, might soon come into effect pending voter approval.

The 0.1% sales tax on non-food items would go toward recreation, arts and public parks in Moab. According to Moab City Manager Joel Linares, tourists would be the primary payers of the new sales tax since it does not apply to food. According to City Finance Director Rachel Stenta, based on past overall sales tax figures, the tax would raise approximately $300,000.

The matter now goes to the Grand County Council before it is passed along to voters for the final say. The county has the option of pursuing the tax countywide rather than just within city limits; this would allow the county to collect the tax, if voter-approved, optionally reallocating some of the funds to the city, if it so chose.

“I hope the county authorizes us to do this, especially as heavy of a lift as the city has done to provide recreation services,” Mayor Emily Niehaus said of the matter during Tuesday’s meeting.

Whether it is the city or the county that submits the question to voters on whether to collect the new tax, if a majority of voters approve it, the new tax would go toward funding “cultural facilities, recreational facilities, and zoological facilities and botanical organizations, cultural organizations, and zoological organizations,” according to Linares.