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Without a vibrant cultural life, Utah has no hope of attracting quality employers - businesses like Ziff-Davis. It is difficult to attract and retain creative and well-educated workers in a community that is perceived to be a cultural desert. This is one of the reasons I will be voting for a sales tax to support the arts, Red Butte Garden and Arboretum and Hogle Zoo on June 8.

The main argument used by critics of the June 8 initiative is that it amounts to a taxpayer subsidy for the entertainment of the rich. This argument is based on the false assumption that only the well-to-do patronize the arts. As a student and part-time bus driver, I know that the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, Hogle Zoo, Red Butte Garden and the various theaters in the county are enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Many of us would not be able to enjoy the arts without some sort of subsidy. Although my income is low, I would gladly pay an extra one-tenth of a cent sales tax if it would keep the arts affordable to me.My university education is subsidized by the taxpayers of Utah because there is a consensus that even people with low incomes should have the opportunity of higher education. But university education is also subsidized because a strong higher education system improves the quality of life in Utah. Likewise, rich and flourishing cultural activities enhance the quality of life in Utah, and they should remain accessible to all of us.

Peter L. Lassen

Salt Lake City