Practical Tax Solutions
Last Saturday, the party hosted an issue summit on tax reform. John Valentine, chairman of the State Tax Commission, made a presentation showing the growing gap between tax revenues and services that has been building for over 20 years. Increasingly, the state legislature and the governor have cut taxes and created a pending severe budget shortfall.
The problem is now affecting Utahns because it means the state will run out of money soon because it does not have enough revenue to provide government services. That is why the governor and some in the legislature are looking at changes such as taxing services, ending the earmark for public education so they can use that money in other ways, and restoring the tax on food.
How did we end up in this situation? Ideology. Plain and simple. Those who ran the state legislature, along with the governors over this period, repeatedly heeded the call of ideological conservatives to reduce taxes, reduce taxes, reduce taxes. They did so because they are philosophically opposed to taxes.
They would have liked to have cut services as well. However, the public wanted those services. People did not want public education funding cut, meaning their children would be in even larger classes and they would spend their K-12 years being taught in a portable trailer. They did not want the state's higher education system to be underfunded and not provide their college-age children with adequate preparation for the future global economy. They did not want roads to go to disrepair because funds were not allocated to maintain them.
Understandably, citizens wanted those services. So, the ideological conservatives could not cut them. But they could cut taxes. And they did. And now the state is in a revenue crisis.
The United Utah Party is a fiscally responsible party. We don't like to pay taxes any more than anyone else. At the same time, we realize that taxes are the cost of a civilized society. We want our children to get the best education possible. We know that public education, not private education, can do that at a cost that the average citizen can afford. We know that our colleges and universities need to have the best professors and lab facilities to teach students the latest advances. For example, the University of Utah has superior medical facilities and training that Utahns should be proud of. But that does not come without tax dollars. We know that our transportation system affects commerce. A well-maintained system facilitates trade. A poor one scares off businesses and decelerates the speed of transporting goods to consumers.
We believe in practical, not ideological solutions. For over 20 years our legislators, along with our governors, have chosen ideology over practicality. And they have created this dilemma we now face.
UUP legislators won't make that mistake. We will examine how much a tax cut, as desirable as it may seem, will impact our ability to provide Utahns with the services they need. We will hold government accountable to assure that those services are provided in the most efficient and effective way possible.
It is time for a new approach. It is time to end control by those who are fiscally irresponsible and got us into this mess in the first place. It is time for practicality, not ideology, to govern our state. It is time for the United Utah Party.
Go to unitedutah.org and volunteer and donate. And share this message with others who you know are dissatisfied with politics as usual and want an alternative!
The Path to Term Limits
Signature gathering for the Unite 4 Term Limits Initiative is moving forward! In August, we held seven hearings in regions across Utah. Soon thereafter, we were given the green light by the state elections office to start gathering signatures. In September, we spent time recruiting volunteers, printing and distributing petition packets and more. Now, we are going forward full-steam, gathering as many signatures as possible as we race to get the required amount before the February 2020 deadline.
It's no secret that this is going to be a monumental task to complete. We have wonderful volunteers helping make this a reality, but we will need all hands on deck in order to get term limits on the ballot in 2020. Polling shows clearly that if the initiative gets the number of required signatures that Utah voters will likely support the initiative with a powerful majority. But if that's going to happen, then we need to get the initiative on the ballot today.
Want to help us make this a reality? There are two big ways that you could help us.
One is to donate. We have wonderful volunteers who are doing a great job collecting signatures. But with more than 115,000 required signatures to gather all over the state, we will likely need to supplement our volunteers with paid signature gatherers. These gatherers could quickly help us reach that ultimate goal, but the clock is ticking. If you could donate today, we'd be one step closer to bringing this initiative home.
Second is to give of your time, and become a signature gatherer yourself. We have regional coordinators all over the state with packets who can help make sure that you can add your help to the effort. If 500 people were able to gather 250 signatures each for us over the next couple of months, we could reach our required signature thresholds. Even if you can only gather a few signatures from friends, family, and neighbors, every little bit helps. Please consider volunteering as a signature gatherer today.
We are so grateful for everybody's help on this process so far. We still have a high mountain to climb, but if you could help us in one or both of these ways today, we can make it happen!
County Conventions Happening Now
Bring your energy to one of our county conventions! Weber and Cache Counties will have conventions next. Come show your support!
The purpose of these conventions is to elect county officers, help party supporters get to know each other, and work together to build the party in the county. We invite to our county conventions anyone interested in a new alternative to the dysfunctional Republicans and Democrats. Come join us in building a new political system built on moderation, common sense, and practicality. You will find other like-minded people who want to end the partisan gridlock that dominates today's politics.
United Utah county conventions are open to the public. However, only those who are registered members of the party can vote on party business at the convention. For those not already UUP members, voter registration can be done in advance at vote.utah.gov or at the door.
Check your calendars.
|Weber||Sa, 12 Oct
@ 10:30 am
|Weber County Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave, Ogden|
Sa, 12 Oct
|Whittier Center, 290 N. 400 East, Logan|
|Utah||Th, 17 Oct
@ 7:00 pm
|Provo Library, Room 201, 550 N. University Ave, Provo|
Sa, 2 Nov
|Midvale Middle School, 7852 S. Pioneer Street, Midvale|
Tax Reform Summit Recap
Last Saturday, we hosted our second annual Issue Summit. This year, the Summit was about “Understanding the Storm Around Tax Reform.” We were pleased and honored to hear from John Valentine (current chair of the Utah State Tax Commission, a former legislator in both the House and Senate, and a two-term President of the State Senate), Joel Briscoe (State Rep. for House District 25 and a member of the Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force), John Dougal (current state auditor and a former member of the State House of Representatives where he sponsored the last major tax reform bill), and Christopher Collard (research analyst with the Utah Foundation). It was moderated by our very own Jim Bennett.
Following the presentations, the panelists accepted questions from the audience, both those physically present and those viewing from home on Facebook Live. Light refreshments were served afterward. If you missed the Summit, it’s still available to watch here.
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The United Utah Party is dedicated to providing and supporting moderate alternatives to the political extremes.