A parade of representatives of area businesses, ranging from a mother who runs a home-cleaning service to the president of the Franklin Institute Inc., spoke out against the tax initiatives Wednesday.
"For the sake of the individual employee, for the sake of the family, of small business as well as large, we the business people urge all to vote against the initiatives," said Wendell J. Ashton, chairman for Business People, Taxpayers For Utah.Taxpayers For Utah, the group formed to fight the tax initiatives, released a list of 33 businesses and trade and professional organizations joining in the fight against the initiatives.
More than two dozen attended a morning press conference and were acknowledged by Ashton before several gave statements about the effects they foresaw if the initiatives are approved by voters.
"When someone says, `Cut taxes, save money,' it sounds great," until taking a closer look, said Kay McDonough of Magna, the owner of a home-cleaning business. McDonough said she is devastated by the potential impact.
Joe Petersen, a cable repairman for US WEST Communications, warned that workers stand to lose the most if the initiatives pass. In exchange for a few hundred dollars in tax savings, Petersen said, they would be taking the risk that their jobs would be cut in the budget crunch caused by the reductions in government spending.
"Don't cut your own throat," Petersen advised working men and women. "It's one thing to have a little money now, it's another thing when it impacts your job."
Robert F. Bennett, president and chief executive officer of the Franklin Institute Inc., said he found it incredible that Utahns didn't seem to realize the biggest benefits would go to the wealthiest areas of the state.
"I'm appalled Utahns aren't smart enough to see that," Bennett said, after recounting his experiences in California when the tax-cutting Proposition 13 was passed by residents of that state.
Bennett said Beverly Hills residents prospered under the property tax cuts, while his children had to pay fees of more than $100 to participate in school activities such as debate and sports.