Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Is it time for an education tax increase?

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Feb. 27, 2017 6:37 p.m.

    Finally an article by these two that I can support. We aren't in "put a bandaid on it" mode anymore. My kids have had year after year of first year teachers. I love their enthusiasm as they begin their careers but the lack of experience is very telling. The districts have to spend so much money training these new teachers and then they leave after a year or two wasting all of that money.

    I hate to say it but it is time for a tax increase. We are constantly polled as to what we want the legislature to do. We constantly reply that we want more funding for education. Yet year after year we get the same non-action from the legislators. Time for business leaders to step up and demand better funding for our schools. It will only help them in the long run.

    No more lowering requirements to become a teacher. That helps no one and has made zero difference in the teacher shortage. Keep the requirements but raise the pay for meeting those requirements.

    It is time.

  • KarenLaRae2 Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 27, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    The legislature keeps playing around with how to slice the educational pie more effectively. But the fact is that as long as the pie stays the same size and we keep getting more kids entering public education than leave it every year, those slices are going to become more and more inadequate. The act is that it doesn't matter how you arrange the numbers, they are going to add up to the same answer. Until Utah is willing to increase that final number, the more difficult and expensive it is going to be when it hits the tipping point into crisis. I am speaking as a single woman with no children who pays significantly more in state taxes than those with children being educated. But I believe it is cheaper to educate than to incarcerate, plus it is a proven fact that those with an education contribute more to the state tax base when they graduate.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 27, 2017 7:49 a.m.

    If I stroll into an elementary school and give every teacher $50, is that going to improve test scores for that school? Probably not. (This is the kind of short term thinking used to discredit a long term plan to elevate Utah's education system.)

    Do Utahns, who fundamentally distrust government and detest any kind of taxation, have the long term vision, willpower and most of all, *patience* to truly elevate Utah above mediocrity? By their choice of political leaders - no.

    Put a different way, how many gifted, talented Utah kids went to college, and scoffed at the idea of becoming a teacher? Answer: more than anyone wants to know.

    This problem has been brewing for multiple decades. It will take at least a generation of sustained effort to bring us up to average, let alone aspire to be #1.

    There are a lot more whizbang, painless, get-awesomeness-quick schemes for our Legislature to go through before we will commit any more tax money to this problem.

    Don't believe me? Here, take some $20 bills down to the local elementary school, hand them out, and watch the test scores... not change.

  • Mr. Mano Draper, UT
    Feb. 27, 2017 12:00 a.m.

    When the income tax was cut in 2007, it was dropped from 7% to 5%. This removed hundreds of millions from public education. Our Schools Now increases it to 5.8%. That would take us from 50th in funding to 49th. Why can't we be willing to do that for our future?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2017 9:49 p.m.

    We need to quit saying we are funding growth, because in truth we are not. We are funding growth at the same inadequate level that we are funding current students. This is the reason that class size continues to grow even when we "fund growth".

    Let's use an example, I only give my child 75% of the food they need to be healthy, I add two children to the family but I only increase the food budget by 3/4 of the true cost to feed a child for each of the children. I am not funding growth, I am funding growth -25% per child. With a child's food needs, I can cut some corners and get by on 75% for a little while, but I can't do it forever without the child suffering. So it is with the education system, we have tried to get by with a 75% or lower effort and we have reached the point where that will no longer work without serious consequences.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2017 7:18 p.m.

    Mr. Webb is right about this.

    MA leads the nation in educational performance because they pay teachers a respectable wage and they have the lowest class loads in the USA.

    But Utah is content with mediocrity. Our legislature will do nothing. We're lucky they're willing to barely fund growth.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 26, 2017 5:05 p.m.

    Don't they get federally funded. Where's the beef.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Feb. 26, 2017 2:48 p.m.

    If we had not passed the constitutional amendment that allows state income tax to go to higher ed, this would not be an issue. There would be enough for K-12. What is telling is that while Utah's K-12 is last in the nation for funding, our Higher Ed. funding is a bit ABOVE average.

    The best solution would be to rescind that constitutional amendment that was pushed on the public.

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    When 60 percent of all new teachers leave within 4 years and those who stay have to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet? Ummm yes, it's time for a tax increase to actually fund education.

    Why should teachers only be paid $30-40k? Why do we expect a world class education by paying Walmart salaries? Heck, one could make a lot more money as an assistant manager at Walmart than a school teacher. How does that make any sense???

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    When 60 percent of all new teachers leave within 4 years and those who stay have to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet? Ummm yes, it's time for a tax increase to actually fund education.

    Why should teachers only be paid $30-40k? Why do we expect a world class education by paying Walmart salaries? Heck, one could make a lot more money as an assistant manager at Walmart than a school teacher. How does that make any sense???

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 26, 2017 7:42 a.m.

    A 17% tax increase, though no doubt needed is a bit too much to swallow.

    "broadening the tax base"....ie tax the poor more though regressive taxes like taxes on food, a bad idea in my opinion.

    Amazon has started to collect online taxes, though not as much as I thought. This should help starting next year. Retail is hurting and online shopping is very healthy. There should be a national online tax rate that all states agree on, and that last part is no doubt impossible, so maybe each state has to give online retailers one rate to collect rather than each county and city putting their fraction of a percent in.

    Broaden the tax base by increasing the income tax .2% up to 50Km .4% from 50K-100K, and the full 7/8% from 100K up. Put priority on early career teacher pay...they are the one's who no longer have a pension to look forward to so their pay should be bumped.

    Also, why are we so generous in comparison with funding higher ed in the state vs K-12. Even out that curve.

    Create a state website that has a myriad of online resources for parents, teachers and students. Slowly build it and let the public and school teachers contribute to it.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 26, 2017 7:34 a.m.

    " Utah is consistently honored for how we conduct business, manage public funds and interact with each other. So we should focus the "Utah Way" on specific objectives."

    No, we are constantly being told how we're the best managed state, #1 for business and #1 for growth. We should have plenty of funding for education, unless those funds are being mismanaged and wasted......

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2017 12:32 a.m.

    No. We don't need another tax increase. The 17.5% income tax increase proposal is nuts.

    We invest between $4.5 and $5 Billion per year for public K-12.

    Start budgeting higher ed first.