Comments about ‘Utah senator wants money for schools — by eliminating family child tax exemption’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 23 2013 6:20 p.m. MDT

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Murray, UT

A reasonable idea to help better fund schools.

Salt Lake, UT

Bad idea, the schools have enough money, they just need to stop using so much of it on Admin levels. Get it to the teachers!

Reasonable Person
Layton, UT

Thank you, State Senator Jones!

I believe in "personal responsibility" and that each family should support themselves without subsidies.
Let's carry it further and have only a "household exemption".

Signed: one-child parents who've been paying for the herds around us, for years

American Fork, UT

Not a bad idea. User pay works for health care, right?

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

This tax increase should be a non-starter in Utah. We have a legislature that consistently wastes too much public ed dollars that they would find ways to burn an extra 400 million in no time at all.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Reagan was right: Democrats never met a tax they didn't hike.

Wasatch Front, UT

This is another crazy idea that fails to consider the second order ramifications. If you raise the cost of raising a child, you will have fewer children, and fewer future workers to support Medicaid and Medicare costs of the older generations. Second, hitting families in the pocketbook when they are most financially vulnerable will only increase the demand for subsidized school lunches, Medicaid, food stamps, healthcare, etc., etc, as these families will no longer be able to avoid basic necessities.

Primary and secondary education is a service with huge positive externalities for communities and the state as a whole. Those who are single or empty nesters benefit hugely from the investment in children by parents AND taxpayers. If more money is needed for education, it is better to spread the costs evenly, than to hit families with children when they can least afford it.

St. George, UT

What about the families who do NOT use the public schools. Does not seem fair to say they should pay extra taxes too when they do not use the schools.

Salt Lake City, UT

Ranking dead last in per-pupil spending--not a definitive measure of education quality, but a very large factor--is certainly making some large companies think twice about investing in Utah.

And for families who essentially pay no tax because of all these exemptions, this would figuratively and literally make them "invested" in their children's education--maybe if this was the case, parents would take their jobs as education facilitators more seriously (getting their kids to complete homework, respect teachers, dress appropriately, attend class, etc.).

Clearfield, UT

The word tax "exemption" means that instead of families with children paying their fair share of taxes that because in many cases they deliberately chose to have a child, the current state policy is to "exempt" them. However, because of the large families in Utah, the burden of paying for taxes has shifted towards single people, smaller families having to subsidize other families's children's education. While it can be argued that everybody benefits from the public education of all children, unfortunately, the direct benefits to large families is likely greater in the long run for the larger family than for those without children or smaller families. For parents who choose to have children, it is important that they accept the responsibility that goes along with having children and that includes paying their fare share for that child's education. Exemptions are unfair for the rest of us.

Salt Lake City, UT

Per child tax deductions are socialism and nothing more. They're government sponsored social engineering that true conservatives despise. The concept of personal responsibility should dictate that those who use services should pay for those services.


So Republicans scream for a flatter tax system that eliminates give-aways to one group at the expense of others...And the Dems offer you something that makes our code flatter.... I can see your heads spinning from here.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Per child tax deductions are socialism and nothing more." This is an odd statement (how about: "picking up the trash is socialism and nothing more"), but I assume this respondent thinks "socialism" is a dirty word. I obviously don't. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Senator Jones' measure would make things tighter for a lot of kids. I don't support her proposal. If she hopes to help her own party, she's sadly mistaken.

Ogden, UT

Be careful what you wish for.

If I am the only one who has a vested interest in educating my children, then I should be the only one who reaps the benefit from creating the next generation of taxpayers. By your logic, the social security payments, medicare benefits, city services, military budget, all of those wonderful things my children will be paying for with their tax dollars, should proportionately flow back to those of us who made all that possible by raising an educated generation.

Those of you that do not want to contribute to that future, should have no claim on that future. When you retire, your retirement should be funded by you, not my children. Your medicare benefit should be paid for by you, not my children. Sadly, that is not going to be much because the government long ago found they could buy your vote by paying out all those funds immediately instead of saving it for you. The government lives hand to mouth. Without my tax paying generation of children paying for your future, your future looks pretty bleak.

If fairness is the name of the game, that's fair isn't it?

Independent Thinker
West Jordan, UT

Thank you, Senator Jones, for continuing to fight for solutions to the larger problems in Utah.

Personally, I'm all for personal responsibility and minimizing unduly burdensome social engineering wherever possible. This is a step in the right direction - even better than the previously proposed Jones-Mascaro bills from several years ago.

Most Truthful and Patriotic
Layton, UT

Senator Jones is on track.
If large families provide workers to pay into Social Security and Medicare, don't they also tax our natural resources?

At a time when everyone wants gigantic McMansions, where do we put them (and how to do provide resources) when families are growing exponentially faster than our earth can support? If you have four kids, and they each have four kids, and they each have four kids -- that 64 grandchildren to provide for. THINK, people!

One solution to Social Security and Medicare is to raise the retirement age. When the systems were devised, people generally lived five years longer. Now, they live 25 years.
Another solution is fair wages, so that people CAN support their own families. Where do you all think the jobs are going to come from?

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I have to admit things have changed over the years. Having a large family, even in Utah, isn't seen quite the same way it was years ago when such people were deemed to be role models. Still, I would be surprised how far a bill like this got. It still will be seen as a "tax increase."

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Before childless couples, or small families, bemoan their social burdens, do remember that those "herds" of children will be paying for government subsidies of the elderly, in their time of need.

To me, the definition of civilization is how well children, and those in need, are cared for and valued. America is well-invested in the pride cycle. We all know how that ends. And, for the record, it always begins with the rich and powerful.

Redding, CA

You make rotten sausage, Sen Jones. Your combination of taxing and spending changes stinks in my opinion. If you'd try a separate approach with your 2 ideas, your taxation idea would most certainly get voted down. If you'd try to improve education funding other ways you could get a winner; such as capping compensation to about 10-15% above the average teacher's compensation - admin / supv work is not worth the extra money we've become accustomed to paying; such as equalizing budgets / compensation across rich and poor school districts - we need to give opportunity to all our children, not just the children of the well off; such as cut spending for inter-school sports - fans should pay for inter-school sports, not taxpayers.

Pheonix, AZ

Has this guy lost his mind? Dependent tax exemptions are designed to help with the costs of raising children.

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