1. What did you do to help with the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum? I was not in the legislature, so I had no part in its crafting. I did have a small role in gathering signatures to overturn the bill.
2. What is your position of taxes on food and gasoline? I feel that these are regressive taxes, placing larger burdens on those who are poor or in poverty. Basic goods like food and gas represent a much larger percentage of spending for the poor, so increasing taxes on those products takes away more of their ability for other goods and services and the basic elements of survival.
3. What if any taxes would you implement on services and why? Taxes beyond standard sales taxes should only be applied when those services use public resources. Gasoline tax is a perfect example of that, where the additional taxes garnered are used to maintain roads. Placing additional taxes on services which do not use public resources is a way to increase taxes without proposing it in a straightforward manner. Expecting, for instance, hairdressers to pay taxes specific to them in order to fund the DABC would make no sense and would be a misuse of the power to levy taxes.
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? The best way to proceed would be to put forth those explanations BEFORE a vote. Allow the debate to happen in the open and use the opportunities beforehand to inform the public of that viewpoint to try and win them/us over. What we got instead was a special session agreement on Christmas Eve in hopes it would go unnoticed by the public. There was as little transparency and accountability as the legislature could muster.
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 willing to vote however I feel best represents my constituents and the state of Utah as a whole. If I were to have any committee positions and lost them over such a vote, it would give me an opportunity to highlight how committed the state legislature is to working against the will of the people.
6. Are you in favor of the Utah School Income Tax Constitutional Amendment that will be voted on in November? Why or not. I am in favor of keeping the amendment in place. Utah has shown over the years and decades its willingness to take money from education to fund other necessities. When I drive through a construction zone, I often say to myself and anyone else in the car: “Utah’s education dollars at work.” We need safeguards in place to ensure that Utah maintains some minimal standards for education spending. Without them, we would readily regress back to the poor educational standards that earned us such national scorn.
7. Name one reason you are the best candidate for the position you signed for. My campaign is founded on the principles of ethics and accountability. This bill, along with trying to water down propositions passed by the public, is a perfect example of the lack of accountability in the legislature right now. We also have blatant ethics issues regarding conflict of interest, most notably in the selection of the board for the Inland Port Authority. My tenure in the state legislature would focus on restoring ethics and accountability to the legislature, enabling it to serve the people once more.