The Utah Restaurant Association is organizing a citizen initiative intended to remove a new law permitting counties to impose a 1 percent tax on food prepared at restaurants and fast-food outlets.
A copy of a proposed petition has been delivered to Lt. Gov. Val Oveson, with the petition language to be reviewed by the state attorney general's office.Once approved, association members plan to place copies at 2,000 Utah restaurants in an effort to obtain the 65,000 signatures needed to put the issue on the 1992 election ballot.
Utah County commissioners already have indicated their intent to impose the tax, and voters there Tuesday approved a plan to use the money to build a new special events center at Utah Valley Community College.
Salt Lake County officials say the tax may be used to raise money for renovations at the Salt Palace.
Robert Kimsey, chairman of the association's board of directors, said the group believes convention and tourist facilities should be paid for by the convention delegates and others who use the facilities.
"We fully believe we will be successful in gaining the needed signatures since all surveys have shown that the public disagrees with the tax," Kimsey said.
He added that some 20,000 signatures of people opposed to the tax were gathered in just one week during the recently completed legislative session, where the bill authorizing the tax was passed.