State revenue lost if three tax initiatives become law could be made up by cutting millions of dollars from the University of Utah, Granite School District and health and human service programs and by consolidating school districts around the state and law enforcement in the Salt Lake valley, a tax revolt leader says.
Mills Crenshaw, the radio talk-show host who helped start the tax initiative movement, proposed several ways government budgets could be cut during a talk before the Women in Business Committee of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.But attorney Jim Jardine disputed many of Crenshaw's contentions, insisting the initiatives go too far and would impair needed government services.
The three initiatives would cut as much as $329 million from state and local budgets by limiting property tax rates and government growth; rolling back tax increases passed by the 1987 Legislature and giving parents of children in private schools a tax credit.
Crenshaw first cited a just-released study of government efficiency ordered by Gov. Norm Bangerter that reportedly proposes cuts of $40 million to $60 million from the University of Utah, the Granite School District and state health and human services programs.
Then he said the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office could be consolidated to reduce the amount spent on public safety by as much as 30 percent.
School districts, too, should be consolidated to save at least $3.5 million annually, Crenshaw said. And the budget of the state Office of Education could be reduced by $40 million if other branches of government were given the responsibility of administering federal funds allocated to education.