1. What did you do to help with the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum? 1. I wrote an extensive explanation of why this proposal made Utah’s already regressive tax system even more regressive. I would be happy to share that with anyone who is interested, just email me at email@example.com
- I submitted letters to the Editor of the Standard Examiner and the SLC Tribune.
- I explained to numerous neighbors, colleagues, etc. how the proposed system was very harmful to middle income citizens and the working poor and told them how to contact their Representative and when that nasty special session bill passed, to sign the Referendum
2. What is your position of taxes on food and gasoline? 1. FOOD TAX should be totally eliminated. Tax on dining out, etc. should stay in place. If you are in a tough financial time, cooking at home yourself is the cheapest way to eat and should be tax free. If you can afford to dine out with someone else preparing the food and cleaning the dishes, you can afford to pay some tax.
2. GAS TAX is a necessary evil as it is the primary fund for highways. Gas tax should be kept as low as possible. We should especially lower gas tax on type H gas fuel as it is far less polluting than typical fuels. Go to the link below for information. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110016815001714
3. What if any taxes would you implement on services and why? I know this will upset some folks but below outlines what I feel. Any thing necessary for basic health and survival in our modern society, such as food, medicine, essential medical procedures, etc. should not be taxed.
Below are a few things where tax should be considered. I have a long list. If anyone has ideas or wants to see more items that can replace the State Revenue lost from Sales tax on food let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org SEE BRIEF LIST BELOW.
A few things that should be taxed….
JUNK FOOD UNDERMINES HEALTH AND HAS SOCIAL COSTS. My family is addicted to Caffeine Free Diet Coke and Rainbow Sherbet ice cream. I love Lemonade and Chocolate Ice Cream. Junk Food and Candy should be taxed.
OPTIONAL MEDICAL PROCEDURES should be taxed. Cleft Palates…essential, no tax; Butt Implants…seldom if ever essential, no tax; hair transplants, not essential…just look at Dallin Oaks or Shaquille O’Neil.
VIDEO AND ELECTRONIC GAMES should be taxed. My wife is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She deals with numerous clients and their families who are struggling with electronic and other games addictions. These are creating a social cost and should be taxed.
SERVICES WHICH YOU CAN PERFORM YOURSELF, BUT INSTEAD CHOOSE TO HIRE DONE. If you are able-bodied and can afford to pay a professional service to maintain your lawn and yard, you can afford to pay tax. You cannot deal with your own tooth cavities. That is a service which should NOT be taxed. You can groom your dog. If you want to hire that done, you can pay a tax. If you can afford a rare dog which requires special grooming, you can afford a tax. If your essential service or comfort animal needs to be dewormed, you can not do that yourself and it should NOT be taxed.
4. Many Utahns felt that after the town halls and committee meetings that the legislative tax task force held throughout 2019 that their concerns were not heard and that special interests wielded too much influence. On the other hand, many legislators felt that the people didn’t understand the issue or the solutions that they put forth. If elected, how would you respond to the concerns and issues that your constituents bring to you and how would you educate them on the issues you are dealing with? 1. Some of us totally understood the negative impact of this proposal up front. We recognized the need to make our tax system reflect a 21st century world, not an 19th and 20th century world. But we also knew for the middle income and working poor this was a terrible proposal.
2. This is typical of the one party system we currently have in Utah. Deals are cut behind closed doors and public hearings are largely dog and pony shows to sell the already done deal. Then the public is told we just do not understand…the legislature always knows best. BALONEY!!! If we do not understand it is because you have not educated us.
3. This was demonstrated by how the Legislature effectively gutted the initiatives passed by the citizens. I respect the will of the citizens.
5. When I served in the Utah State Legislature starting in 1987, I was the one of the very first to have open town meetings prior, during and after each Legislative session for 10 years. These were discussion meetings, not dog and pony presentations to convince folks I was right, which many of the current legislative town meetings have become. I received many great suggestions and ideas…several of which I developed into bills that became laws.
5. Are you willing to vote against bills that legislative leadership wants you to support even when threatened with losing coveted committee positions, having your legislation held hostage, etc? Explain I AM NOT A ROBOTIC LEMMING SLAVE TO ANY PARTY PLATFORM. In my 10 years of service I opposed all kinds things proposed by both the Republican and Democratic Leadership. If what was proposed was not sensible, not practical, not workable, not cost-effective, did not align with the views of my district, etc. I would never vote in favor no matter what the threat. If you are not going to represent your district, why get elected? Several times this resulted in sanctions, even though I was in an elected legislative leadership position.
6. Are you in favor of the Utah School Income Tax Constitutional Amendment that will be voted on in November? Why or not. NO. The income tax was originally adopted with school funding in mind. Looking at the way our legislature has treated education, this Constitutional Guarantee of at least a minimum floor for education funding is necessary. In the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s Utah was always in the top ten nationally on money spent on education per $1,000 of personal income. We had a great system to the point TH Bell, from little Utah, became the U.S. Secretary of Education. For several years now we have been dead last or 2nd to last in education funding throughout the U.S. If you remove the Constitutionally guaranteed funding base no telling how much lower we can go.
7. Name one reason you are the best candidate for the position you signed for. Listening to citizens, I get things done.
Here is 1 important example, which saved significant tax dollars and made State Government more efficient in serving citizens. As a Democrat, co-chairing the Employment Task Force with then Lt. Governor Olene Walker, I helped design the most comprehensive Government Reorganization in 40 years. As a member of Minority Leadership I was designated by Olene and Mike Leavitt to sponsor and pass the 800 plus page legislation that implemented that reorganization. They did so stating no one on the Republican Side knew the issue as well and could better sponsor and defend it against disabling amendments as I, a Democrat, could. We combined under one roof, 7 different departments which were spread out in 7 different locations all over the place, which citizens had to shuffle between to get what they needed. This was such a good model over 50% of States have followed it.