In November 2005, Orem voters approved a 1/10th of 1% local sales and use tax ($.01 for every $10) for the purpose of enhancing recreation and cultural arts in the City of Orem. The Cultural Arts and Recreation Enrichment (CARE) Program went into effect in April 2006, and the first CARE grants were awarded in 2007.

In November 2013 and 2023, Orem voters renewed the CARE tax for an additional 10 years, keeping the CARE tax in effect through March 2034.

Both nonprofit and government entities (including the City of Orem) may receive CARE funds. The City Council reviews CARE grant applications and decides how CARE funds are allocated.

There are three types of CARE grants are available:

Major Grants: $10,000 or more to a nonprofit organization (must be a licensed 501c3)
Mid-Major Grants: $5,000 – $9,999 to a nonprofit organization (must be a licensed 501c3)
Mini-Grants: $4,999 or less to a nonprofit organization

Facilities Grants: Available to government entities (including the City of Orem)

What has the CARE tax done for Orem?

  • The All-Together Playground
  • Significant amount of the new Family Fitness Center
  • Splash Pad at Palisade Park
  • Orem Dog Park
  • Indoor Leisure Pool
  • Outdoor Stage at City Center Park
  • And financial support for dozens of local non-profit organizations (SCERA, Utah Metropolitan Ballet, Utah Valley Symphony and others)

CARE Grant Rules

CARE grants to both nonprofit and government entities may only be used for purposes outlined by state law:

Grant RecipientAllowable Uses
City of Orem or Another Government EntityLimited to: Capital development (construction) and ongoing operations of government-owned or operated recreational and cultural facilities. Funds may not be spent on program expenses.
Private Non-Profit OrganizationLimited to: Operations of nonprofit cultural-arts organizations (programs). Funds may not be spent on construction or building improvements.

CARE Policies & Procedures

How the CARE programs works.


All of your CARE questions answered.

Documents for CARE Recipients

Community Benefits

The CARE Program provides community benefits and opportunities for all Orem residents. Since the CARE Program was authorized, funding has been used to improve the quality of local arts programs, to expand open space for parks and recreation, and to improve and expand city facilities. Grant recipients have reported that CARE funding has helped them reach new heights in the quality of activities they are able to offer our community.

CARE Performs

CARE performs by providing funding for theatrical productions, dance performances, and music concerts in Orem. A number of nonprofit cultural arts organizations have benefited from the program, including the SCERA Center for the Arts, Hale Center Theater Orem, Utah Regional Ballet, Utah Valley Symphony, and many more.

CARE Elevates

CARE elevates by funding cultural and historical programs. CARE has provided grants to arts education programs offered by Hale and SCERA theaters, the Colonial Heritage Festival, and the Utah Storytelling Guild. Some of these programs offer cultural arts classes for youth, while others provide educational community events that would not be possible without CARE funding.

CARE Builds

CARE builds by providing grants to publicly owned facilities. These grants have been used to build the Stage at City Center Park, rebuild the Orem Fitness Center, improve the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theater, add shade structures and other improvements to city ball fields, and provide funding for the Library Hall.

CARE Grant Frequently Asked Questions

What does CARE stand for?

CARE stands for Cultural Arts and Recreation Enrichment. The CARE program is designed to improve cultural arts programming and recreation facilities in Orem.

Where do CARE funds come from?

State law allows cities and counties in Utah to levy a 1/10th of 1% local sales and use tax for the purpose of enhancing recreation and cultural arts in the community.

How long is the CARE program authorized for?

Voters originally approved this tax in November 2005 and subsequently approved its renewal in 2013 for an additional 10 years. The CARE tax is currently authorized to remain in effect through March 2024.

What can CARE funds be used for?

According to state law, CARE tax revenue may only be used for (1) capital development and ongoing operations of government owned or operated recreational and cultural facilities, and (2) operations of nonprofit cultural arts organizations.

What constitutes a “recreational and cultural facility”?

Recreational facilities include parks, playgrounds, golf courses, athletic fields, gymnasiums, swimming pools, trail systems, or other facilities used for recreational purposes. Cultural facilities include museums, theaters, art centers, music halls, or other cultural or arts facilities. Under state law, government-owned or operated facilities are the only facilities eligible for CARE funds.

What factors qualify a cultural arts organization for CARE funds?

Qualifying organizations must have a significant presence and manage/present in the City of Orem.

To be eligible for major grants ($5,000 or more), private nonprofit cultural organizations must hold active 501(c)(3) status at the time of the application deadline. Nonprofit status may be verified online with the IRS. A sample 501(c)(3) form is also available.

Applicants for mini grants (under $5,000) must be registered with the State of Utah as a nonprofit corporation with an active status at the time of application. Educational institutions may qualify if they receive less than 50% of their funding from state funds and serve the residents of the City of Orem (as opposed to students and faculty).

“Cultural arts” is a broad term. What cultural arts disciplines are eligible for CARE funds?

Many disciplines are eligible, including performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, historic preservation, arts education, and more. A more complete listing is provided in the CARE Policies and Procedures document available through this website.

Are there limits to how much money a cultural arts organization can receive or how the funds can be used?

Organizations applying for major grants ($10,000 or more) may be awarded up to 35% of their total qualifying operating expenses. Qualifying expenses include those associated with programs, marketing, royalties and licensing fees, and other operating expenses related to the organization’s primary cultural purpose.

Organizations applying for mid-major grants ($5,000-$9,999) and mini-grants (up to $4,999) can be awarded a full grant regardless of their current operating budgets.

CARE funds granted to cultural organizations may not be used for capital construction expenses, payments into an endowment fund, expenditures for programs outside of Orem, activities not available to the general public, political lobbying, fundraising expenses related to capital or endowment campaigns, or for other expenses not related to the organization’s primary cultural purpose.

Can individuals receive CARE funds for cultural arts projects?

No. CARE tax revenue is designed to support nonprofit cultural arts organizations rather than individuals.

Who decides which applicants receive CARE grants?

Because the City Council would like to receive citizen input during the allocation process, a citizen committee was established in 2014 to review CARE applications and provide funding recommendations to the City Council. This committee started service in 2015. After reviewing committee recommendations, the Orem City Council makes all final decisions regarding grant awards.

The CARE Program is a competitive granting process. Funds are only made available through a formal application process. CARE funds are not an entitlement, and the filing of an application is not a guarantee that funds will be awarded.

When are CARE grant decisions made?

Applications become available in February of each year.  The City Council generally announces their CARE grant decisions in May.

If my organization or facility project is awarded a grant, when will the funds be made available?

All non-City entities will be required to enter into a contractual agreement with the City of Orem before funds can be released. Once the contracts are signed, funds are generally made available in July.  Generally, mini and mid-major grant recipients receive the money through a reimbursement process. Major-grant recipients receive their funding in one lump-sum.

How much revenue does the CARE tax generate?

The 1/10 of 1% CARE tax generates approximately 1.9 million dollars in revenue each year.

How can I learn about events and programs offered by CARE grant recipients?

You can learn more about our events and programs offered by current CARE grant recipients by visiting their establishments or websites.

Who can I contact if my questions are not answered on this page?

If you have questions, please contact the CARE program coordinator by e-mail at