Utah House, District 74, Kenzie Carter

— 1. What did you do to help with the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum? —

I added my name to the list of signatures.

— 2. What is your position of taxes on food and gasoline? —

I understand the need for a tax on gasoline. These taxes help fund our roads and transportation needs. What I don’t understand is the continual increase to tax payers, while giving tax breaks in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars, to refineries who refuse to produce Tier 3 fuel because it is too expensive. These refineries have received tax breaks since 2017, they have been reaping the rewards, but have had no oversight nor progress in changing their refining processes. The use of Tier 3 fuel can eliminate air pollution in our state up to 80%. We need to reduce or eliminate the tax breaks for the refineries and appropriately fund the states transportation needs. This will be a short term solution as we are in the process of phasing out our reliance on fossil fuels. There has been a significant increase in alternative fuel vehicles, which will create a heavier tax burden on those who cannot afford to purchase newer alternative fuel vehicles.

I do not support the increase in the food tax. This is another tax that targets our low-income, poor and struggling Utahns. We already have a  hunger issue in our state. Food tax is a regressive tax that will require citizens to pay more money for less food.

— 3. What if any taxes would you implement on services and why? —

Once we tax corporations appropriately, then we can talk about taxing the service industry. We want to tax certain services provided by locally owned businesses and small business owners, but we continue to give millions of dollars in tax breaks to large corporations.

— 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? —

I believe the issue is a lack of transparency by the legislative tax task force when addressing questions and concerns at the town hall and committee meetings. The task force did not offer insight or compromise, they did not listen to what people were asking just going through the motions of discussion, they had an agenda and they pressed forward regardless. The point of being an elected official is to listen to the people who are voting for you. If my constituents are not understanding a proposal, it is my duty as their representative to involve them in the process, whether it’s approving, tabling, or compromising legislation. The constituency needs more than surface level platitudes. We need to rebuild trust in our relationship with elected officials. It’s time special interest and lobbyists take a back seat to the working class.

— 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 believe compromise is necessary to get things accomplished, but I believe the voice of the constituency has been lost in the politics of our State. I can’t agree to legislation at the expense of my voters. That is not the purpose of having a representative.

— 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 not in favor of this constitutional amendment. It has been stated that this amendment was presented and voted on in a 48-hour time frame with 2 days left in the general session. That tells me education funding is not a priority and it is another attempt to get hands on money that is dedicated to education.  Utah is last when it comes to per pupil spending in our country. Why is that? Do special interests and pet projects really come before an investment in the children of our future. Our elected officials state they will divert money to add child and disabled services. That is too vague for me. Child services? Does that mean childcare and daycare will be a priority for affordability? Expand CHIP coverage? Expand the school lunch program? Disabilities? For whom? The legislative majority stated that people will be grateful that they were included in the process, but are voters really included in this process? Members of the House and the Senate from across the aisle were not even included. Voters will see this amendment on the November ballot, if it is voted down, what will the Legislature do? The same thing they did to Prop 2, 3 and 4? If we are so worried about the education fund, why aren’t we appropriately taxing the gas and oil extraction on public and private lands? By not appropriately taxing these entities, we are leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table, funds that could be invested in the future of our children.

— 7. Name one reason you are the best candidate for the position you signed for. —

Transparency and accountability. Voters are not being heard. We need representatives who will listen to what is being said. In the past two years we have had 3 propositions “adjusted” to better suit the needs of the legislature. We have had a botched tax reform bill that took a statewide coalition to overturn. These are futile efforts.  The time, money and resources spent by the legislature needs to be used to improve the lives of the voters they serve. I will be the voice of my constituency.

— Email —

kenziecarterforhd74@gmail.com

I am Kenzie Carter and I am running as a Democratic candidate for Utah House District 74. 

I have spent 20 years in a career helping people. I have experienced how the system works, both personally and professionally. I understand how the system benefits some, but not others and I feel the current legislature does not act in the best interest of its constituents. The marginalized and vulnerable have been left behind, the middle class is shrinking, people are required to do more with less and can barely get by. 

I think about the futile efforts of trying to pass a tax bill that puts additional strain on families’ ability to get food and basic services. I think of voters approving propositions on a ballot, only to have the legislature take liberties to change the voice of the people. It’s time the people became the priority.

I want transparency and honesty from our elected officials. I want responsible spending of taxpayer funds. I want efficient use of time and resources invested in the issues that matter most to you. My areas of focus include healthcare, livable wages, attainable housing, environment, homelessness, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights.

Please feel free to contact me at kenziecarterforhd74@gmail.com or www.kenziecarterforhd74.com