Bob Adams and Lloyd Sie-gendorf - are vying to be their party's candidate for the District 28 Utah House of Representatives seat.
Adams said that he is opposed to all three tax initiatives "because the wrong people are going to get hurt," but he is also against raising taxes."I am not in favor of the tax increases because there are other proposals that would allow us to cut back on taxes," Adams said. "We can put together a tax base by disbanding many of the unnecessary tax exemptions."
He cited as an example the tax exemptions on food sold in vending machines and on sausage skins. Adams also proposed reworking the state's corporate tax structure.
The tax initiatives that would limit property tax rates and government growth as well as roll back tax increases approved by the 1987 Legislature would hurt Utah's elderly and handicapped residents, Adams said.
He said the initiatives would result in the institution of user fees, as he said was done in California after tax reform measures were approved by voters there.
"I'm against the rollback, until they show us what programs are going to be cut," he said, adding that proponents of the initiative want the public to " `Just vote and we'll see what happens.' I can't go along with that."
Adams also said he cannot support the tax initiative that would give parents of children in private schools a tax credit until he can be assured "that it will not harm the public schools system."
If the tax initiatives do pass, Adams said, "what we must do is protect the vital areas that get cut first, such as kindergarten and special education." He said some of the cut could be absorbed through consolidating school districts.
Sufficient funding must be provided to higher education, Adams said, because the state's university system generates millions of dollars in research grants and contracts.
Utah's higher education system could help boost economic development, he suggested, by providing training needed for employees of small businesses. Adams said too many small businesses are losing money or going bankrupt.
A "serious economic development agenda that will provide revenue" is needed, but not tax increases, according to Adams. "We do need to fund services, but we do not need to raise taxes to do it," he said.
Siegendorf said he is against all three tax initiatives because of the millions of dollars that would be lost. He said he also opposes new taxes.
"The state of Utah has a responsibility to provide basic services (health, education, welfare) to its citizens. All three tax initiatives will seriously restrict our ability to provide these basic services," Siegendorf said.
He said that if the tax initiatives do pass, he would propose eliminating the career ladder program that provides teachers with additional for extra hours of work, a move he said would save $54 million.
To cope with increased enrollments in the state's higher education system, Siegendorf said top priority must be given to providing enough money for those residents who seek a college education.
The 1989 Legislature will have "to prioritize the weighted pupil unit and social programs with current revenues," he said, adding that there should be no new taxes.
Bonding to pay for public projects such as dams, highways and government buildings "promotes a sound economy and creates private sector jobs." But Siegendorf said common sense must be used to make sure that the projects are worthwhile and supported by the community.
The AIDS problem in Utah must be addressed through education, he said. "We've taken a big step by approving an AIDS curriculum for public schools," Siegendorf said, adding that now, "a greater educational effort through our health agencies is needed."
New business and industry can be attracted to the state by following several recommendations of the Lt. Governor's small business conference action plan, including establishing a Utah Small Business Advisory Council and awarding more state contracts to Utah's small businesses.
Siegendorf also called for developing better communication between the business and educational communities and selling Utah's work force as being very loyal and well-educated.