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In our opinion: Raising the food tax to 4.75 percent is the wrong solution

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  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    Dec. 2, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    Raising the sales tax on groceries, even collecting any tax on groceries is an idea whose time has long gone. Except in Repubican caucuses that have no compassion like in Utah. Why do Utah voters elect these creeps who want to regressively tax the poor? Why do Utah voters elect these creeps who cannot see a way out for their need to spend? Surely conservatives like the Utah Republicans can find a way to reduce spending for those pet projects for which they want to regressively raise taxes on the basic food needs for the poorest among us!! C'mon, repubs, recognize my thesis - this is an idea whose time has long gone in other states and localities around the US, your basic ideas needed to change a decade ago.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 12:55 a.m.

    The comment about the 30% sales tax growth to transportation was not accurate. That law has a cap to limit it to approx. the amount of sales on transportation related items.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 12:50 a.m.

    People that are working, but struggling to have enough money to pay bills often target a mortgage/rent, utilities, transportation and then food.

    When someone walks into a store with $3 left to buy food, you don't tell them it is OK they don't have enough money to buy milk or chicken, they will get $80 at the end of the year.

    Raising the tax on food increases the number of people needing help from the community, church or government and is the wrong thing to do.

    The majority republicans and democrats in the state house correctly fought the idea of raising the price on food 2 years ago, despite it passing in the senate. That bill was to lower the overall rate to make up for the food tax matching everything else. While that idea was terrible in a recession and especially hard on fixed income, it isn't as bad as the idea being tossed on in the senate this year. I respect the sponsor, but not the bill.

    Even today, there are people that don't have enough money to buy food, but are managing to stay off the food stamps and other helps, but just barely.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Nov. 23, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    I used to care about people, families. Then I came to Utah. "If you don't like it you can leave" is the motto of the local culture. I'm now feel about them as they feel about me.

    This tax makes large Mormon families start to pay their fair share. 'Doesn't affect me much at all. I say 'bring it on'.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 22, 2012 1:57 p.m.

    The repubs in this state would tax the air the poor breathe if they thought they could get away with it.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 11:32 a.m.

    Taxing necessities is an inequity; cut them down to zero never mind 1.75% or any percent.

    Tax luxuries for all, at a rate under ten percent, and cut back on government spending. Most of these local taxes are for education; there is a ton of flab in the education system: top heavy administration and extraneous courses, sports programs and the like. It is a crying shame to see young families who cannot even get into these public schools without paying hundreds of doallars in fees every year in addition to heavy sales and property taxes.

    As for welfare - make it workfare; the people want it when they have been asked I believe, but governments do not deliver the product.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Nov. 21, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    Food should not be taxed!(maybe junk foods) Medicine and medical treatment should not be taxed. Property should not be taxed. There should never be a taxes that allows the government to steal peoples lives. Remember, people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, ... Do not tax those things that threaten life. Tax other things if you must, but not those life sustaining elements of society!

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Nov. 20, 2012 6:02 p.m.

    When Ward Roylance (Utah taxpayers association), and Seanator John Valentine agree on a tax increase you know the poor and lower middle class will get clobbered.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 5:57 p.m.

    Property taxes should pay for roads and infrastructure. Gas tax and food tax and any other sales tax is misplaced tax.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    Most economists and other experts agree that the gas tax needs to be raised. For instance, Greg Mankiw, who's a highly regarded Harvard economist and Romney's main economic adviser, has long urged a $1 increase (phased in gradually). The users of roads need to be the ones bearing the full costs of road construction etc.

    Right now, less than a third of UDOT's >$1 _billion_ budget comes from the gas tax and use fees. Subsidizing roads so heavily distorts people's incentives and leads to greater sprawl, less use of more efficient transportation alternatives, etc. When the price of using the road reflects the cost to society of your using it, people will make much more balanced transportation decisions, traffic congestion and smog will be decreased, and people will be better off.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 3:37 p.m.

    Re Mike Richards

    If government is not our nanny, then get off Social Security and go get a job.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 2:56 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    "The most "heartless" thing that we can do is to enable people to receive welfare where they will live in poverty for the rest of their lives. Make people be responsible for their actions. Government is not our "nanny"."

    I have cousins who have spent their entire lives trying to "game" the system.

    ================

    Hmmm let's take a look at this....

    Heartless is to standby and do nothing and let people die.
    As I read it, that is your stance.

    As a member of the LDS faith - YOU of all people should be the one helping your family.
    1. Self
    2. Family
    3. Church
    4. State

    Whine and cry all you want Mike,
    but it seems you have let your family down.
    Ironically, you blame the Government for your non-action.

    I shall pray with all my bleeding heart for you AND your family.
    [I'll also gladly pay my taxes to help them out, since you won't.]

    Call me a Socialist....

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 20, 2012 2:27 p.m.

    @ Makid,

    I have cousins who have spent their entire lives trying to "game" the system. They were as healthy as I am. They had the same opportunities that I've had. They were raised in the same "environment" as me, yet, they chose to let someone else pay their bills. They chose to let someone else "give" them food and shelter and clothes.

    What did they learn? They learned that if they were clever, they wouldn't have to work for a living; that they wouldn't have be responsible; that they could do whatever they wanted and that someone else would pay.

    What has been the result? Ruined lives. Babies born out of wedlock. Mothers and fathers who have done nothing to sustain their own families because they knew how to get the "government" to pay their bills.

    I've seen it first-hand. I've seen the ruined lives. I've seen people whose only goal was to "game" the system.

    No problems were solved. "Welfare workers" only encouraged them to continue to accept welfare. No work was required. No effort was required.

    Lives were ruined. People were wasted.

    That's what the government does. It wastes lives.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 1:38 p.m.

    Mike Richards:

    "The most "heartless" thing that we can do is to enable people to receive welfare where they will live in poverty for the rest of their lives. Make people be responsible for their actions. Government is not our "nanny"."

    So, you are advocating that we do nothing. Let them either sink or swim right? Letting them sink would be the preferred option for you it sounds like rather than help them. I would rather we take care and look after those that cannot as opposed to letting them just rot.

    What are you teaching their children? That their parents were failures because they couldn't succeed?

    If you lost everything, would you want or would you try to do it all yourself like you are stating you want them to do now? What if while you are trying it yourself, you find out that nothing is available. Would you want help then? Or would you just go on a long walk and let nature take its course?

    All these ideas that people have about cutting services, put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would do. If you still feel strongly, go teach it to them.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 20, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    Let's look at the State and local taxes that we pay. We pay property taxes of about $125 or more per month. We pay gasoline taxes of $25 or more per month. We pay State income tax of about $250 per month on an average household. In addition, we pay almost 7% sales tax on non-food items.

    What is the role of government? Why should the average household pay $400 per month plus sales tax to the State and local governments?

    What "services" should be eliminated? The cost of feeding children are the responsibility of the parents. If there is no father in the home, he should either pay or be jailed. He "invited" those children into the world with his actions. He is responsible. Feeding those children is not a duty of government when the father is known.

    The most "heartless" thing that we can do is to enable people to receive welfare where they will live in poverty for the rest of their lives. Make people be responsible for their actions. Government is not our "nanny".

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" raising taxes on food would be just like raising taxes on medical devices, taxing people who don't buy thier own health insurance, taxing people with health insurance plans worth more thatn $10,000/yr (average cost of insurance is $13,000/yr).

    But, lucky for us, that was all brought to us by the Democrats in an effort to "reduce" the cost of care.

    So, using liberal logic, since increasing taxes on health care is good so must raising taxes on food be good. Didn't you see the article about how obesity is a problem. Maybe by raising taxes on food, people will eat less and not get obese.

  • TiCon2 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    The solution to the transportation shortfall is twofold. The problem with gas taxes is that if you raise taxes on gas too much, it would have a similar effect as a food tax on those who pay a larger percentage of their income on those products.

    Additional funds need to be raised to fund much needed education and infrastructure improvement projects, but must be done in conjunction with a revised vehicle registration fee system. Rather than per-mile taxes that have many flaws, Utah should implement a vehicle value-based fee. Why not reward those people who own smaller, more efficient vehicles and tax the larger, more expensive vehicles for greater wear and tear on the transportation infrastructure.

    It works very well here in Arizona, and I love that I have an additional incentive to own a smaller, less-expensive car.

    Also, UT should run a Prize-Linked Savings lottery, but now i'm being unreasonable.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    BYUtah Fan said: "I believe it was a republican governor who lowered the taxes."

    ...and would that be Huntsman? The same that has been called everything BUT a republican during the last year, especially by the right wing cons here on these comment boards, how he was the worst Gov. and NOT a republican.

    But when it fits your narrative he's a republican?

  • BYUtah Fan Herriman, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    How did this become a Republican v Democrat issue. I agree that taxes shouldn't be raised on food. I believe it was a republican governor who lowered the taxes. Since when are democrats against taxes. It is true that we are a relatively high tax state. And yet every single year, without a single exception, since I have lived in Utah, democratic legislators have tried to garner support for tax increases in Utah. The only reason taxes are as low as they are is due to the refusal of the republicans to go along with it. Due to the high percentage of school age children, Utah spends an inordinate amount of its budget (relative to other states) on education. Utah has a well deserved reputation as one of the best run states in the union. You can thank Utah republicans for that. Put the democrats in charge and we would be standing in line with California looking for someone to bail us out.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    During the oil crisis in 1974, I remember the same day President Ford recommended a 10-cent increase in the federal gas tax to reduce consumption, Gov. Rampton proposed a 5-cent increase in the state gas tax, to compensate for reduced consumption.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    Of course you know that we should tax the poor heavily and the rich lightly. The rich are our job creators! If poor people can barely survive, who cares? What have they ever done for anybody? Says the good, God-fearing Utah Republican Party.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Why not raise severance taxes on minerals torn from Utah's rocks?

    Oh, right. That would reduce profits for the Big Boys who have purchased their legislative services.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Nov. 20, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    Despite being the reddest of red states, Utah is hardly a low tax state. We are ranked 22nd as the most taxed state in the Union in a Tax Foundation analysis.

    If we need more revenue we should increase taxes on income, not the more regressive food tax. Of course, our legislature could take a cue from Mitt in Massachusetts, and increase the various "fees" we all pay.

    This way, they could claim to have not raised our taxes.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Nov. 20, 2012 6:52 a.m.

    Republican group-think is that the federal government taxes = stealing but taking food right out of the mouths and food budgets of families is necessary.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    Utah's legislature always goes for the wrong solution.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Nov. 20, 2012 1:37 a.m.

    Amazing that in a republican state you can't stand the federal government taking money from your paycheck to pay for wars and debt but you'll take food right out of children's mouths.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Nov. 20, 2012 12:54 a.m.

    Sales taxes on food are the most oppressive tax ever devised. They literally take food out of the mouths of those who struggle most. The state needs to look elsewhere for revenue.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 12:07 a.m.

    Agreed

    Republican thinking...

    Raising taxes on necessities of life, such as Food, is good --
    Raising taxes on the uber wealthy 1% of America's Millionaires and Billionaires is bad.

    And they need a thinktank to figure out why they keep loosing elction after election.