Officials of the Sandy Chamber of Commerce have opposed two of the three tax initiatives, saying they cannot ignore "the consequences that certainly will happen."
Warning that the budget cuts mandated by the two initiatives would affect every Utahn, the chamber urged citizens to vote against the ballot questions that will appear on the November ballot.In a resolution passed on July 13, chamber officers and directors voted to go on record against the People's Tax Reduction Act and the People's Tax and Spending Limitation Amendment.
The reduction act would roll back the state income, sales, gasoline and cigarette tax increases passed by the 1987 Legislature. The limitation amendment would cap property tax rates and limit government growth.
The chamber did not take a position on the third tax initiative that will go before voters in November, the Utah Family Choice in Education Act, which would give a tax credit to parents who have children enrolled in private schools.
The resolution stated that the chamber "does not favor legislation that binds government entities and legislators to an arbitrary spending ceiling, ignoring the consequences that certainly will happen."
Those consequences were not spelled out by the chamber, but opponents of the tax initiatives have said that the initiatives would require state and local budgets to be cut by about $325 million, resulting in the reduction or elimination of many vital government services.
Proponents of the measures say that amount, recently adjusted to reflect the reduction of tax rates by lawmakers during a special legislative session, could be cut without seriously affecting needed government functions.
The chamber position favors "wise and prudent restraint in government spending" but also recognizes "the necessity of adequate taxation to fund our quality of life and increase our economic development."
The initiatives do not address Utah's unique educational and economic problems, the chamber resolution stated, problems it said required a careful spending policy.