Chamber boss favors increasing some taxes


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  • What's left on our plates?
    Nov. 2, 2009 11:29 a.m.

    The budget shortfall has to come from somewhere, so where does our personal budget shortfall come from? Should we stop eating so we can pay our taxes? Our property taxes continue to go up even though our property is devalued. Food gets a tax increase. We don't get raises, so where does our budget shortfall come from? Sheesh!

  • Face reality
    Oct. 31, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    Utahns need to face reality. We tend to speak in platitudes - no more taxes, amnesty is wrong, government should cut just like a business and so on. The reality is that a billion dollars have been cut from the Utah state budget, all at a time when we are leading the nation in population growth and the recession increases the load on government -- more people return to college, more people are on Medicaid and more people unemployed. Sure government has to cut, but unlike a business, its customers increase during an economic downturn. I'm grateful that someone is actually facing reality and saying we ought to consider increasing revenues. It's a courageous thing to say and a sign of a leader. Thank you to Mr. Beattie

  • John
    Oct. 30, 2009 2:18 p.m.

    This guy is a historical loser as we know.
    How about putting a meaningful stop to the influx of foreigners from all over the world whom we are supporting. I see them every day in my healthcare setting. This drain, is killing us ! When are the knuckleheads on the hill going to realize what is happening here. They keep coming in by the droves.
    Free health care, free this, free that. This is irresponsible and wrong !

  • Jim
    Oct. 30, 2009 1:34 p.m.

    Yeah, that'll fix the economy. What a genius!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 30, 2009 1:29 p.m.

    You can increase my taxes too, I am willing to do what is needed to make sure that services are not cut off. We cannot allow our government to fold!

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 30, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    Olene Walker, who the Repubs decided couldn't run again, warned us that the portion of the sales tax that came from food was the most stable of all of our taxes.

    She said that if we removed that part we would be subject to drastic ups and downs in state revenues whenever the economy went through cyclical changes.

    We did it anyway, because we declared it to be regressive. Well, guess what... she was right.

    We now have a tax system that magnifies economic cycles.

  • Hatuletoh
    Oct. 30, 2009 11:18 a.m.

    I have not had a pay cut or increase in about four years, but I would estimate my purchasing power is down by about 20% in that same period. Just a rough estimate. Of course, I'm expected to just be thankful I have a job these days and soldier on. What about you all? Any similar (or very different) assessments?

    Oct. 30, 2009 11:09 a.m.

    REPUBLICANS floating the TAX INCREASE balloon?

    On an hourly basis, in our wonderful 24/7 news cycle, we see REPUBLICANS wringing their hands over the exploding deficit. We hear their MANTRA, NO MORE SPENDING; NO MORE TAXES.

    Yet, in one of the reddest of the red states, we have REPUBLICANS going for TAX INCREASES?

    The voters see clearly there is NO DIFFERENCE between a TAX and SPEND DEOMCRAT and a TAX and SPEND REPUBLICAN.

  • Rorschach
    Oct. 30, 2009 10:39 a.m.

    As a former Chamber employee, I can honestly say that my first reaction to this article was: Lane Beattie actually DID something?

    Whether he's right about this or wrong, I just can't believe that he's not on his ranch, on a golf course, or on a cruise somewhere.

    That's where he spends most every working day, while still pulling in a 6 figure paycheck. That's just awesome leadership, right there.

  • fed up
    Oct. 30, 2009 10:28 a.m.

    When are we as a people going to realize that government will NEVER be able to accomplish what they say they want to. I for one am going to avoid supporting the monster any way I can. If everyone did this, they would have to privatize and get out of our way, so the productive people in the world could finally be free. Voting is coersion by force. If you vote, you support and deserve what you get.

  • Lane is a leader
    Oct. 30, 2009 10:15 a.m.

    Who is the leader here?

    Is it the guy who says, "We're in a real crisis here, and we can make some more huge cuts to the budget, but as we do that let's keep some possible tax increases on the table to avoid any draconian reductions to things like education."

    Or is it the guy who says, "I won't propose a tax increase. I will just cut and cut and cut in my proposed budget. We may have to cut education another 15% this year. If people want to whine about the size of the cuts, and if they demand a tax increase, we'll do it only if they get angry enough so we can blame the whole thing on them. We'll probably end up in the same place as Lane Beatty, but I won't stick my neck out for it."

    One is a leader, the other a political tool. Lane, why are you not running for Governor??? It is sad that the republican who most sees things like you do, with vision, forsight, and reason, is actually a democrat- Peter Corroon.

  • Kudos @8:27
    Oct. 30, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    IF the Chamber ever wanted to really help Utah taxpayers, they would lobby,lobby,lobby the Utah Legislature to DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to deny services to illegals. Yes, MANY MORE things can still be done to convince the illegals to "move on". How about forbidding ANY state agency from printing ANYTHING in Spanish?
    The problem is, the Chamber will certainly not expect business to pay any higher taxes, AND, they certainly want to make sure the illegals are available for business to EXPLOIT. That leaves ALL THE REST of us to pick up the shortage in tax revenue!!
    The small amount of credibility the Chamber of Commerce has is ERODING fast!!

  • Dogchow
    Oct. 30, 2009 9:27 a.m.

    The sales tax on food is the most regressive tax on poorer people. They spend a greater percentage of their income on food than do the middle class and rich.
    Nothing like a RINO in the building to suggest raising taxes in the middle of a recession rather than decreasing government.

  • Atlas
    Oct. 30, 2009 9:25 a.m.

    Fire Beattie. Cut taxes.

  • randy
    Oct. 30, 2009 9:07 a.m.

    so the state can continue to spend and create programs to spend money on .. but those of us who actually work, not having pay raises for years , and some even without jobs anymore have to pay higher taxes to pay for those who never really did anything anyway ... just stick their hand out and take and take and take ..

    we the workers do without, we cut spending in our homes and our purchases and the state continues on with same-old same-old ..

    who is going to be left to pay for this state ?? if the state doesnt start cutting programs .. 10% unemployment , reduced working hours and pay, no pay raises, the state has to stop the spending they have granted to minorities for decades otherwise there wont be anybody left in this state to pay the price for the joy of being here ...

    good luck to us all ...

  • someone
    Oct. 30, 2009 8:58 a.m.

    To Mike:

    DTS can't do their job as it is. How can they possibly take a 30% cut? I do not believe a 10% cut across the board would be at all easy. In fact, it would hurt a great deal. Some departments, however, didn't feel last years cuts as deeply as others. Community and Culture being one of them.

  • Utah-Utah- Utah Wake Up
    Oct. 30, 2009 8:58 a.m.

    Tell me how investing in education is going to help us out of the rotten republican caused mess we are in? If you wnat to invest some money in education lets have a lottery and a para-mutuel gaming law passed. That takes care of education, now what to do about the rest? How about eliminating numerous state funded playgrounds these legislators think we need and I'm not talking childrens playgrounds folks. Put the food tax back on O.K., put a head tax on school children, stop the deductibles for charity and religion donations(tithing included) the churches have enough bankrolled for a few years until we pull out of this economic mess. This is just temporary of course but maybe just maybe its time for the haves to go without their incomes short term also. They could help the oppressed short term to survive if they would open their over stuffed wallets! But don't just increase taxes carte blanc, that has been for tooooo long the republican way, big business way for tooooo long.

  • It ain't the same
    Oct. 30, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    The Chamber of Commerce isn't what it used to be. It is no longer made up of local merchants and manufacturers because we're now a big box society and not much is built in the USA any more.
    Instead, the chamber is made up of social service agencies and local reps from big corporations.
    As a result you get them endorsing amnesty for illegal aliens and favoring tax increases.
    Let them take a position on anything, but don't claim that the Chamber represents America.

  • cb
    Oct. 30, 2009 8:26 a.m.

    The Chamber of Commerce is also against tightening down on illegal aliens. It shows that Battie is no friend of the tax payer. And you thing Utah is conservative, he was president of the senate. The state needs to do what normal people have done and cut spending.

  • Mike
    Oct. 30, 2009 8:14 a.m.

    As a state employee working at the Dept of Administration Services, I believe that we need to cut State programs and trim budgets. Why should Govt not be trimmed when business and free enterprise has to be cut? The State of Utah is fairly efficient but we could easily cut 10% across the board and still provide decent services. In fact the Dept of Technology Services (DTS) could easily cut 20-30% without affecting their services (a lot of waste in that division).

  • Help me ...
    Oct. 30, 2009 8:02 a.m.

    figure this out. Herbert put Bangerter in charge of finding out how to optimize state tax money. Isn't that like turning Bill Clinton loose in a sorority house or Sadam Obama in Air Force One? I have been following Gov. Herbert very closely and have been very impressed by his positions and stands. I applaud him on his desire (and fulfillment, I hope) of not increasing taxes for his first budget. I'm just afraid that, with time and associating with career politicians, he too will get caught up in the governmental tax-and-spend mentality. He needs to work with people that have and hold the same conservative beliefs and values that he has.

  • DH
    Oct. 30, 2009 7:55 a.m.

    Making it more difficult for the average citizen to survive is not the way to get us out of this mess. My income has decreased because of this slowing economy and as a result I have had to cut back on what I enjoy to balance my budget. I expect the same thing from government, responsible spending.

    It is wrong for the elected politicians to believe that they can always spend the way they want to. I don't care whether we are talking about education or not. Sometimes the money we want to spend is not there and we must be more cautious in how we spend what we have. To suggest that this means government has the right to just raise taxes is wrong!

  • car doc
    Oct. 30, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    tax soda and ice cream. problem solved.

  • Dave II
    Oct. 30, 2009 7:46 a.m.

    What is Mr. Beatties Salary? He will make it through with hardly a noticable drop in net pay. Take a look at the people hurt most by taxes! Mr Beattie just shrugs this off as he did as a member of the legislature. The people do not matter! When the income for people drops, they have to cut back. The government should do the same, but it is easier to raise taxes and destroy people.

  • Do what we have to do
    Oct. 30, 2009 7:40 a.m.

    The government must cut its "services." If there is a shortfall, then our leaders need to do what we have to do in our own homes--CUT BACK! Sure the dependent class is going to scream. My kids are complaining because we don't live the way we used to when we had money too. So what... let em scream.

    We personally are dealing with our own shortfalls. And now you want to make it harder by adding to the cost of fuel and food? Just keep squeezing and you will see a revolt like you've never seen. STOP IT ALREADY!

  • Stan the Man
    Oct. 30, 2009 7:08 a.m.

    Another business "lap dog" group proposing tax increases on individuals. There are plenty of tax exemptions and other tax incentatives given to business that can and should be removed.

  • wallofvoodoo
    Oct. 30, 2009 7:03 a.m.

    Blatent tax on the middle class. If the Dems did this, they would be lambasted by the Republicans.

    Oct. 30, 2009 6:31 a.m.

    CUT, Cut, and Cut again before considering any additional tax. Cig tax, fine. Sales tax hike on food, fine. Severance tax on coal, fine. BUT stop there!

  • re Dave
    Oct. 30, 2009 6:12 a.m.

    Well, now that they have eroded our tax base with their gift giving, we find ourselves unable to meet our expenses. It's time to reverse those tax base destroying revenue reductions (including the sales tax on food) and put our state back in the black. If the legislature hadn't been so eager to buy votes and had used the surpluses wisely by investing in education and/or putting more aside for a rainy day we wouldn't be in this predicament.

  • No shortfalls.
    Oct. 30, 2009 4:05 a.m.

    This is ludicrous mentality.

    Instead of calling it a shortfall, just think of it as the new tax base they have to work with and forget about raising taxes to maintain what they had in the past. The legislators should look in to canceling and eliminating some existing programs no longer supportable by government. Many of Utah's cities and state programs were created in windfall tax years with the understanding that nothing is permanent.

    Sure, some government workers would lose jobs but that's part of the economics system in the national trends. There's a reason for the reduced amount of taxes the state has to work with and they must adjust to this new level of operating capital called taxes. This mindset of local governments must change with the times and what they have to work with.

    The legislators approved most non government welfare and social programs and they can surely repeal and abolish them as well so we can have a good functioning government. It's why we have this form of government, it's ability to adjust and run itself with reasonable taxation with what is available in a depressed economy.

  • No such thing
    Oct. 30, 2009 1:13 a.m.

    No such thing as a temporary tax increase.

    I remember being shocked when sales taxes went over 4%. Now we will see them go to 7%. If anyone thinks they will go back down, think again.

  • Cameron Glade
    Oct. 29, 2009 9:47 p.m.

    I think what Mr. Beattie was really expressing is that there are a number of potential solutions to balance the budget–and the business community is willing to look at alternatives and everything should be on the table.

    Our legislators face difficult decisions as they balance the budget (as they are required to do) and I'm glad to see that we're not leaving them hanging without support and input from the business community--a group that has plenty of expertise when it comes to making sound financial decisions.

    Those who were at the presentation know that the Chamber has not fully formulated a detailed plan but is still in the planning stages–prudently looking at various options. To say the Chamber supports tax increases is getting ahead of the organization.

    I'm waiting to hear the Chamber’s real proposal and appreciate a group working toward a solution. The Chamber deserves our thanks, not a premature attack before they can even lay out their plan.

  • Commoner
    Oct. 29, 2009 7:12 p.m.

    Simple solution, we identify all government programs. Each week we vote for our favorite program. The bottom 100 million dollars in programs get voted off the budget each week until we balance the budget. It works in the "real" world, it ought to work in the fantasy land up on the hill.

  • No One of Consequence
    Oct. 29, 2009 6:00 p.m.

    **"It's common sense," Beattie told reporters after his presentation to about 50 lawmakers and others gathered for the forum. "When you're a billion dollars short, it's got to come from somewhere."**

    Beattie wouldn't know common sense if it bit him. You don't raise taxes in a slow economy - the people don't have more to give. It's time to trim down government expenses and activities.

    If 10% is good enough for God, why is it that government wants so much more than that?

  • Nickle and dimed to death
    Oct. 29, 2009 5:07 p.m.

    Why do we continue to nickle and dime ourselves to death with fees and other backdoor taxes instead of just raising taxes?

    We have a horrific shortfall and as hard as it is to take, we need to raise taxes to get us through this economic downturn.

    Make the tax increase valid for one year and assess how we are at that time.

  • Cameron
    Oct. 29, 2009 3:57 p.m.

    I was at this forum. I too was interested to hear Mr. Beattie advocate a wide array of tax increases. But Gov Bangerter also said that he doesn't think Utah can take a general tax increase. He told the story of when he was governor and polling said Utahans wanted higher taxes to pay for education. But when he raised taxes he saw his approval rating drop from 75% to 41%. It took him 2 years to get it back over 50% and win reelection.

  • Dave
    Oct. 29, 2009 3:32 p.m.

    "Tax the Government" comments are symptomatic of many of the public's simplistic concepts. "The Government" is us! What makes the commenter thing that Lane's paycheck is not taxed the same as everyone else's paycheck. The comment reminds me of the Bill Cosby episode when Bill's daughter brought home her first paycheck and was surprised to discover that witholdings had been taken from her gross pay. When Bill explained that the witholdings went to pay for roads, military protection, etc. etc. her response was "I thought the government paid for all that." It seems we have raised an entire generation of economic imbeciles.

  • grits
    Oct. 29, 2009 3:23 p.m.

    why in heavens name would you raise taxes in utah we are so under paid in utah its a poverty state children our moving out of state for better pay.We claim to be a family state,but children of family,s are leaving.

  • Tax the government
    Oct. 29, 2009 2:00 p.m.

    Well MR. Lane Beattie how about we tax your paycheck by 20 to 40% and see how you like your taxes increased???