To the editor:
The missing ingredient in the campaign of Taxpayers for Utah is their failure to acknowledge that our property tax is urgently in need of reform.The insanity of a property tax that collects the same rate on improvements as on land values has been tolerated without question only because it has been done that way for so long.
Likewise, the absurdity of the property tax limitation proposal is that it, too, fails to distinguish between land and improvements. The coalition would lower the tax on land values which would tend to increase land prices - hardly what the building industry needs.
The sensible way of getting enough NO votes to defeat the initiative proposal is not to defend the status quo regarding present taxation.
In the 1988 legislature, a Property Tax Pro-Enterprise Act was introduced by Sen. Bill Barton of West Valley City. If enacted, this law would permit (not mandate) local governments to shift the property tax from improvements to land values on any schedule considered appropriate.
The campaign need is not only to defeat the initiatives, but to work for the election of legislators who will support the reintroduction and passage of the Pro-Enterprise Act.
Earl A Hanson
Intermountain Single Tax Association