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Sunday, September 21, 2008

One Idea on Property Tax Reform

Blogmeister Update: Be sure to view the Property Tax Reform Web Site that we have linked prominently in the right column under the ACTION ALERT.

Below is one suggestion for some property tax relief for Utah citizens. There are many other possible approaches, but the citizens of Utah need to get their constructive views to their elected representatives.

We feel the place to make changes is in the movement of education funding from property taxes (50-60% of the bills) to consumer (sales) taxes. This would result in an immediate reduction in property taxes for almost everyone, and would spread the education tax load more equitably to all consumers across the state. The legislature could enact a trigger property tax supplement if sales revenues were not high enough in an off sales year. We think the public reaction would be favorable with the exception of the education people (UEA), but so many retired and low income Utah residents may be unable to pay the looming property tax bills if something definitive is not passed this year.

It is difficult to fathom the opposition of the UEA in Utah to almost any property tax reform. This approach would not have to change the amount the educational system receives, it would just change the source. Two states, Michigan and Georgia, have passed similar legislation.

Failure to act positively by our state legislature may force the Utah voters to take matters into their own hands with a statewide tax initiative similar to Proposition 13 in California in the 1970s.

Let your voices be heard! Write to the tax Committee chairmen listed in the earlier post and write to our State Senator and State Representative as well!

Larry and Sharon Zini

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