Favoritism for Salt Lake County’s biggest arts groups was baked into ZAP tax funding. Should that change?
The Utah Symphony had run at a deficit for eight years straight; it had raided endowment funds and considered its major donors tapped out. Desperate for new funding, it lobbied with other struggling fine arts groups for a new sales-tax increase to support culture and the Hogle Zoo.
The response from Salt Lake County voters in 1993 “wasn’t only `No,'” then-Commissioner Brent Overson said at the time. “It was, ‘Hell, no.'”
Opponents had portrayed the proposal as a tax on th...