Utah

Utah taxpayers will pay millions more in wake of 2015 Legislative session

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  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    April 2, 2015 10:41 a.m.

    Utah is making serious mistakes here. And honestly, if the taxpayers lose, everyone loses there are no winners. Fuel tax is a ratchet and hits the poorest the hardest.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    April 2, 2015 10:29 a.m.

    I think it is horrible that I should have to pay taxes to educate someone else's children. Mine graduated a few years ago, so now taxes should be cut. After all, I am the center of the universe and everyone should bow to my needs.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    April 2, 2015 8:46 a.m.

    Granted some increases were necessary. One of the most important things needed to offset the new taxes is a increase in the minimum wage. Other than a Federally Mandated one almost 8 years ago, when did our legislature last raise the minimum wage rate? Not surprisingly this subject was never brought up during the last legislative session.

  • caaron Draper, UT
    April 1, 2015 8:17 p.m.

    It is interesting that our congressmen manage to justify a tax raise to keep up with inflation. I guess that is easy for a person to say who makes $174,000 yearly when the median family income is $52,250. The difference between the two is $121.750. The difference is more than double the median family income. If our representatives in congress and senators really want to know what their constituents are going through why not part with that extra $121,750 and live like the rest of us. Then we will see if they are so ready and willing to raise taxes. Now we can understand why there are so many running for public office. You can make three times the average income without feeling any of the hardship or stress of the lower class or even the median class.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 31, 2015 7:14 p.m.

    A five cents tax on gasoline is reasonable and badly needed. That would be an extra dollar on twenty gallons. Population growth bring need for more schools, roads, and yes prisons. Utah is still a well managed state. And yes we do need a new prison. If you actually worked or volunteered there you might just understand. Find something more important to complain about besides an nickel for a gallon gas. I bet those who complain the most about taxes are the same ones that gripe about roads needing repaired.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 30, 2015 8:55 p.m.

    Tax payers have an endless amount of money.

    So easy to spend someone elses money.

  • Trudere Provo, UT
    March 30, 2015 3:48 p.m.

    So the state hasn't raised the gas tax for 20 years? Well, if I haven't punched you in the face for 20 years, I guess it's time I do it again!

    Legislators always make one big fat assumption -- that taxpayers' incomes keep up with or exceed inflation. NOT!

    There goes "best managed state" -- glub glub glub!

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    March 30, 2015 12:31 p.m.

    Gas taxes hurt the rural area's far more than the Wasatch Front. And there aren't 80,000 a year jobs down here. And people have to usually drive far more to get somewhere.

    Of course, Democrats never met a tax increase they didn't love. Who knew that our legislature went to the Democrat party?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 30, 2015 8:54 a.m.

    sitichon,

    The answer to your question is really quite easy. The state legislature has been cutting taxes for ten years so the state is collecting less tax than per capita than they were ten years ago, while the needs for roads, schools, etc is growing. Now we are on the verge of a major problem with roads and schools, and we have to play catch up.

    Responsible tax policies avoid these ebbs and flows, but politicians who irresponsibly cut taxes force a later group of legislators to raise them

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    March 29, 2015 10:58 p.m.

    Utah ranks #1 in a very disturbing statistic: more students per teacher than any other state in the nation. For a state whose citizens are probably more vocal in stressing the importance of children than in any other state, this statistic says that Utah is probably the most hypocritical state in the nation.

    If the citizens of Utah really love their kids then education funding must increase significantly with the increase focused on decreasing the teacher/student ratio. This should happen if it does mean there is a significant tax increase. .

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    March 29, 2015 9:16 p.m.

    If I understand the tax increases correctly, the beneficiaries are going to be the rural schools and their students are well as the rural population and their road improvements. The people that will be paying more are most of Utahns to help transfer public funds to those areas of Utah than have traditionally been underfunded in the past. The purpose of tax equalization at the state level has been to ensure that all public school students receive equitable opportunity in quality education. And as state road system which is vital for commercial development and access, rural state roads have been overlooked as major state road projects have benefitted mostly the densely populated urban and suburban geographical areas of the state. Of course such transfer of funds seem more like a Democratic Party philosophy of equity distribution, but regardless of political party, it seems that this major legislative effort is a bipartisan effort at fairness. Even though I live in Clearfield which will not see much benefit from tax increases, as a Democratic I can't complain. It's the right thing to do.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    March 29, 2015 7:21 p.m.

    The assault on taxpayers is unending.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    March 29, 2015 4:30 p.m.

    All comments are futile. We elected those guys to represent us as citizens. Instead they represent us as subjects.

  • chiksika Hyrum, UT
    March 29, 2015 2:22 p.m.

    The more roads we build the more we Need? Foolish. When a job is completed remove the old bill. How about a slab of concrete Holiday to Kennicott? The rationale for adding taxes is because its been a while? Why in blazes add taxes when the previous one exists for a completed job? Can we assume that the UTA bonuses are removed as well as a reduction of salaries?

    Schools again including $1.5M to USU to recruit athletes. That's criminal.. Cover inflation they say? What about folks who do not receive a cola etc..? Schools will never have enough especially since they ignore every public suggestion to make improve education. Schools are no more responsive that the DOE or the UEA and the NEA.

    90% of the felons on the planet, with less than 10% of the population. wE MUST utilize Germany's prison controls Can we assume the UTA increased the egregious salaries and bonuses for itself?

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    March 29, 2015 1:54 p.m.

    Enjoy the tax increases Utahns!

    Elections have consequences! Remember now, you voted for this!

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    March 29, 2015 1:18 p.m.

    Fair and Just under laws!
    Our Utah Legislature managed to finish their session without addressing the most important issues presented to them.
    Proof of Corporate Share Holder's Money Being Spent on Bribery,
    filed with both House & Senate Ethics Committees.

    No news media, or FBI or DOJ or UAG Sean Reyes or Utah Senate Ethics Committee or Utah House Ethics Committee or SLCounty D.A.Sim Gill or SL police or Utah State Bar or Utah Supreme Courts or U. of Utah Law Dept. or BYU Law Dept. or SLC Television Stations or Deseret News or SLTribune or any Lawyer or any citizen group will help ask the question that could change our corrupt government into one the protects citizens from violations of equality.

    Corporate Bribery like any form of bribery is wrong and must be opposed if we are to be fair and just toward one another.
    When our governor Gary R. Herbert took $235,000 from out of state oil/energy share holder's money, for his 2012 election, and then appointed their lobbyist Cody Steward to Utah Energy Advisor:

    They created a perfect landmark case to prove intent to commit bribery.
    That case is filed and waiting DUE PROCESS.

  • elgreco grand junction, CO
    March 29, 2015 12:05 p.m.

    Someone's gotta pay for the millions of dollars the state spends on fruitless litigation and studies against the federal government and its public land policy. And, of course, the fight against gay marriage. This stuff takes lots of dough and the Utah taxpayer apparently will keep ponying up.

  • goodnight-goodluck S.L.C., UT
    March 29, 2015 12:01 p.m.

    So we needed a tax increase to
    a. give the governor a 37% raise, how many of you got a 37% raise?
    b. spend a half million dollars with no accountability to fight non existent wolves in the state.
    c. waste another 20 or so million in a futile attempt to wrest control of federal lands so they may be sold to the profit of a few.
    d. waste how many millions to move the prison out of draper that a few sitting and former legislators can make a pantload at the expense of the populace, and if salt lake city accepts it they get their own additional big tax increase to further penalize those who do business downtown.
    e. continue to underfund education so the public school system can be pointed out as a failure when they run their next voucher private school subsidy scheme.
    sounds like the best run state in the country to me.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    March 29, 2015 10:44 a.m.

    Our Utah Legislature managed to finish there session without addresses the most important issues presented to them.
    Proof of Corporate Share Holder's Money Being Spent on Bribery,
    filed with both House & Senate Ethics Committees.

    No news media, or FBI or DOJ or UAG Sean Reyes or Utah Senate Ethics Committee or Utah House Ethics Committee or SLCounty D.A.Sim Gill or SL police or Utah State Bar or Utah Supreme Courts or U. of Utah Law Dept. or BYU Law Dept. or SLC Television Stations or Deseret News or SLTribune or any Lawyer or any citizen group will help ask the question that could change our corrupt government into one the protects citizens from violations of equality.

    Corporate Bribery like any form of bribery is wrong and must be opposed if we are to be fair and just toward one another.
    When our governor Gary R. Herbert took $235,000 from out of state oil/energy share holder's money, for his 2012 election, and then appointed their lobbyist Cody Steward to Utah Energy Advisor:

    They created a perfect landmark case to prove intent to commit bribery.
    That case is filed and waiting DUE PROCESS.

    WE THE PEOPLE.....Demand Justice

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    March 29, 2015 10:31 a.m.

    It is now almost impossible for an older, retired couple, to travel anywhere because of gas being at $2.65 a gallon; the fuel for planes, and trains, buses, also goes up, prices to travel go up. And when they don't travel, they don't spend money on motels, food, entertainment and businesses suffer those loses...I am not certain that all of the collateral damage is considered when raising taxes, especially gas taxes.

    But, there is one thing that older people do, that doesn't cost them more than the cost of a stamp...that's vote.

  • bc1050 Sandy, UT
    March 29, 2015 10:23 a.m.

    These tax increases must be making democrats, Liberals and socialist smile! the Legislature and governor have made their day!

    Nothing makes a liberal/socialist/marxist happier than tax increases!

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    March 29, 2015 10:03 a.m.

    So let me see, the population rises in Utah, and property values and wages are on the rise which would mean more money already coming into the coffers. Gasoline prices are lower which will drive more consumtion of gas which will also bring in more tax reveneu. All you Obama hating republicans please tell me how this Red state of Utah needed and could justify raising our taxes!

    Maybe its because the GOP in this state is refusing to expand Medicaid - so millions of dollars we have already paid in taxes are now being spent in other states.

    Wake up Utah, and let the revolution begin!

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    March 29, 2015 9:39 a.m.

    I was on a member of a City Council once. I voted for a sewer hook up tax which doubled the current tax. I voted for it and it passed and afterwards, another individual said to me, "you just voted yourself a tax increase since you are building a new home." I hadn't even thought of myself since I felt the increase would be better for the whole community and to offset the increasing costs that were occurring. When the Legislature votes in new taxes, they also tax themselves.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    March 29, 2015 9:27 a.m.

    After years of cutting taxes it became apparent, even to die-hard republicans, that there are certain things government needs to pay for, hence the tax increase.

    All the rhetoric about how taxes kill business is just that, rhetoric. Poor roads, run down schools, and a shoddy community infrastructure kill business.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    March 29, 2015 8:26 a.m.

    Could Public Money be spent better?

    We have borrowed, spent, and taxed ourselves into making 1 million people sick in Salt Lake Valley with bad air.

    If we double the population in the Salt Lake Valley that is overbuilt and out of air now, then we'll double or triple sickness due to bad air quality.

    How many $20/hour jobs does it take to pay for a $500,000 in health care costs for one person?

    Why spend billions in public dollars to make a 2 million people sick when there are 28 other under populated/employed counties for growth?

    We expand an airport in the Salt Lake Valley below the inversion level when there is better land above the inversion level for airport expansion in Summit County.

    We borrow money to create an artificial water shortage.

    We regulate cigarettes to stop their ill effects while we smoke tail pipes for hours on the Carbon Monoxide I-15 corridor.

    A UTA ticket is 80% subsidized, CUP water is 83% subsidized in the sick air valley.

    Shouldn't the jobs be created where the air is clear and healthy?

    Herbert is doing a good job. Saying, "NO" to Salt Lake County and yes to Juab is a tough sell.

  • sitichon PROVIDENCE, UT
    March 29, 2015 8:25 a.m.

    Can someone explain to me why taxes EVER need to be raised? The population continues to increase and therefore one would think the efficiency of the tax dollar would be improved just as the cost for a group for doing almost anything is cheaper per person than it is for an individual to pay for something alone. For example, roads and schools, a large part of government costs, should be less expensive per person as the population grows, not more expensive. But government seems to not understand how to do this, yet continues to promote growth. If growth means higher taxation, why do we want growth? Where's the benefit? It just means more open space lost to housing and business projects and more taxes.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    March 29, 2015 8:24 a.m.

    So there will be more funding for education. Good.

    Now, let's use that money to do whatever it takes to buy our way out of common core, SAGE testing, Michelle Obama's awful lunches and anything else than hinders real learning and ties our teacher's hands. Teachers have become test trainers - not facilitators of meaningful learning.

    If those two things are not repealed, then let's invest in charter and private schools instead so parents have more options when they choose to opt out of these awful programs (as is their right) at their public schools.

  • Utah_Happyman Orem, UT
    March 29, 2015 8:16 a.m.

    Wasting money on Wolves, Sage Grouses, and Prison Relocation...Utah Legislated...just to mention few. Use your vote to put someone in office that will represent you instead of just an "R" by their name. Utah needs a system with checks and balances.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    March 29, 2015 8:15 a.m.

    There is a missing part of info here. The raise in the fuel tax will not effect the average Utah driver very much and will be subsidized by the millions of gallons/nickles, purchased by out of state visitors to the Great State of Utah. I would think that the governing body might have raise additional funding by a tax on water usage at golf courses, and convention centers, a resort tax, and higher fuel taxes for private jet fuel. I live on an income of $7,400 a year, and afford a car, insurance and sometimes, gas.

  • bc1050 Sandy, UT
    March 29, 2015 8:12 a.m.

    Hey! when did the Tax and spend Democrats take over the governor office and legislature?

  • Basketballgirl75 Provo, , UT
    March 29, 2015 8:00 a.m.

    Good for the legislature! $50 a year on property taxes is next to nothing, and those taxes are needed and long over due. Our transportation system and education system need the boost. I have relatives that live outside of Utah and they pay thousands more in property taxes. Utah is still the best place to live!

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    March 29, 2015 7:52 a.m.

    Tax increase with a surplus? Why?

  • quickmatch Oak Park, IL
    March 29, 2015 7:40 a.m.

    I understand the angst of a rise in taxes; there are few who welcome tax increases. Yet, the cost of doing government business and offering quality critical services, such as schools and roads, continues to increase yearly. Here in Illinois we are seeing the price of keeping up services (of course, multiplied by 20 years of foolish mismanagement of pension funds) resulting in deteriorating roads, a 10% sales and 5% income tax. Be grateful for your honest and responsible governance.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 29, 2015 7:20 a.m.

    No reasonable person can deny that this Country is under direct attack by a cadre of left-wing extremists who seek to turn this Country into just another European-style post-Christian socialist state. This effort includes the effort to manipulate the economy.

    I thought I would just get this out of the way now. I will let others figure out how this can also be tied to Obama.

    (5 points for guessing the original author)

  • Tilka PORTLAND, OR
    March 29, 2015 7:16 a.m.

    Things going downhill in Utah. Look at the governor, he could have vetoed the tax increases.

  • Trainman Ivins, UT
    March 29, 2015 6:46 a.m.

    I thought that it was the Democrats who were the tax and spend people. Maybe there is no such thing as a conservative republican any more. My wife and I moved here from an eastern state, and I calculate that it costs us around 20,000$ more each year to live in Utah. It was our choice, we knew what we were doing. It was a good choice, but when will it ever slow down. Soon Utah will be taxed at 50% like some places in California.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    March 29, 2015 5:17 a.m.

    We continue to say we will gladly pay more in taxes if it would only go to our schools. Once again the schools were shortchanged. The "increase" is not really an increase. We are adding so many kids into the system each year that the legislature can say EVERY year that they have "increased" funding for education. In reality they aren't spending more per kid. We are just adding in more kids so the amount of total money has to increase. It is a shell game where they try to make themselves look generous by "increasing" funding.

    To describe this as a "great session" full of "courageous" decisions is ludicrous.

    Courageous would be to increase the WPU by 10% each year for the next 5 years until we get out of last place in education funding. We now pay less in taxes than most other state yet our schools continue to be starved.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 29, 2015 4:11 a.m.

    What is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when money is my liberty and the means of life and the pursuit of happiness. Dignity still means the same but righteous interpretation mess up. So what's cool and what's not [got or not]. Dignity is worth fighting for.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 28, 2015 11:45 p.m.

    So much for the Republican lie that ONLY Democrat will raise taxes...

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    March 28, 2015 11:28 p.m.

    Those wascally wepublicans

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    March 28, 2015 7:09 p.m.

    The ill-conceived prison relocation also got $80 million dollars.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 28, 2015 6:59 p.m.

    The Legislature, and the Governor, and the lobbyists all have lots of "good ideas" about how to spend more and more and even more money on those good ideas and pet projects. They very seldom terminate any program or expenditures.

    Well, unlike the Legislature, the taxpayers do not have the option of just spending more money and telling someone else to pay the bills. Instead the taxpayers have to make tough decisions about what spending cuts they will have to make.

    Sort of like in the olde days when the masters decreed what the serfs must pay and not complain and do as they were told.

    This has been a very disappointing legislative session, and Governor Herbert's conservative credibility has been badly eroded as well. If we wanted an irresponsible legislature and governor, we could move to California. Or we can just wait, as we are headed down that failed path.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    March 28, 2015 5:19 p.m.

    The legislature did the right things. They were overdue. I support them. Thanks!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2015 4:52 p.m.

    The reason Utah was considered a well run state until now is that we were careful in how we spent our money. Now that we are apparently about to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a new prison that isn't needed, that is no longer true.

    If we spend too much money on things we don't need, the time will come when we won't have enough money for the things we do need.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    March 28, 2015 4:24 p.m.

    So, not only does a city get a prison jammed down its throat, but it can kill its retail businesses with a tax increase. The other increases, I agree with, but this idea has no brain power attached to it...

    Stupid is what stupid does.