The Utah Taxpayers Association, have they read the Utah Constitution regarding 2019 SB 2001

The Utah Taxpayers Association is wondering if we have read the bill, 2019 SB 2001

I wonder if they have read the Utah Constitution.

First, they are saying the income tax reduction (reducing the Education Fund) can start helping employees in January when the earliest anything in the bill can take effect is in February. 60 days from December 12, 2019. They didn’t get the 2/3 vote of both houses. If they are telling businesses to start changing the income tax withholding rates prior to the 60 day effective date, they don’t understand Utah Article VI, Section 25. (The Utah Tax Commission is waiting. They understand).

Article VI, Section 25.  [Publication of acts — Effective dates of acts.]
 All acts shall be officially published, and no act shall take effect until sixty days after the adjournment of the session at which it passed, unless the Legislature by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, shall otherwise direct.

Second, the $600 Million sales taxes the Utah Taxpayers Association are complaining about going to roads is supposed to go to roads. Transportation related (sales) taxes are to go to roads by the same part of the constitution as the income tax is to go to education. 

Article XIII, Section 5.  [Use and amount of taxes and expenditures.]
(5) All revenue from taxes on intangible property or from a tax on income shall be used to support the systems of public education and higher education as defined in Article X, Section 2.
(6) Proceeds from fees, taxes, and other charges related to the operation of motor vehicles on public highways and proceeds from an excise tax on liquid motor fuel used to propel those motor vehicles shall be used for:

Ultimately they are missing the obvious

First, if you raise the cost of vehicle fuel, by increasing the state fuel tax by 35%, a family driving around town has less money to go to the store to buy food. These added fuel costs will drive up the cost of goods at the register as well. 

Second, raising the cost of food by raising the sales tax on food by a 177% Utah tax increase, means the family has less money to buy food. The State paying this family back later, doesn’t help. Why should a family making it without the government be pushed into requiring help? 

Third, by reducing the amount of money going to public and secondary education, while promising public education will not be hurt, means they are either going to change the Utah Constitution or the legislature is going to make sure our property taxes go up, either directly such as 2015 SB 97   and 2018 HB 293 or indirectly by making the local school boards raise our property tax and those boards getting the blame.  

Fourth, the bill sets up changing the funding of roads by removing the constitutional required funding from transportation related taxes, including sales tax, and replacing it with highway user fees and a road usage charge program. 

Fifth, Adding to the increase of services with sales tax, which can drive service type businesses out of the state.

Not only is raising taxes on food wrong, raising fuel prices bad, taking money from education questionable, the whole idea of moving all sales tax money away from roads, as stated above is wrong.

Tax Hike? As an Eagle Scout, I know something about Hiking. Perhaps the representative of the Utah Taxpayers Association needs to get out more. There is no Tax Hike in what we are doing. Signing a Referendum doesn’t create a new law, or new tax, or new anything. It just puts the bill on hold until the voters decide it’s fate in the fall.

So why do they think we are distorting what the new tax bill says? 

What are we saying? 

We are telling people to read the bill, from the legislature’s website, read the legislature’s own summary/explanation of the bill and the official fiscal note of the bill. For some light reading, don’t miss the $1/2 Billion Higher Education Funding Shell Game found in the bill, Starting at lines 6579.

I really don’t want to see Part 2 and Part 3 of this Tax Reformation. Let’s Stop the madness Now!!