Salt Lake County commissioners don't like Gov. Norm Bangerter's tax-limitation plan, but while the commission's lone Democrat had harsh words for the governor, Republican comments were more restrained.
Bangerter announced Tuesday a proposal to freeze property taxes - one of six points in a plan he offered as an alternative to three tax-limitation initiatives that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.Commissioners during a Thursday meeting of county elected officials pointed out that a property tax cap would affect only local government revenues, not state spending. They also criticized the governor for not discussing the proposal with local officials before announcing it.
"Local governments did not miscalculate state revenues. We didn't bring about the tax-initiative movement," said Commissioner John Hiskey, a Democrat. "This shows incredible sensitivity to local governments."
Commission Chairman Bart Barker, a Republican, said he wrote a three-page response to the governor's plan, but admitted he may never send the letter. "I got things off my chest, but I'd probably have to change parties if anyone ever saw it," Barker said.
"The governor basically said `Vote for me and I'll freeze local government taxes.' That would allow growth at the state level but not at the local level. It would protect the state's bond rating but not local bond ratings."