A vote for the proposed tax-limitation initiatives is a vote to end Utah's tradition of access to higher education, according to the Utah Valley Community College Institutional Council.
The council, in a resolution opposing the initiatives, says a yes vote also could erode higher education's capacity to promote the state's economic development.According to the resolution: "If the initiatives pass, Utah Valley Community College will suffer budget reductions totaling $1.5 million. This is more than double the loss already sustained in 1987. The new cuts would deny a Utah college education to approximately 1,000 of the college's 7,000 Utah students each year," 78 percent of whom would be Utah County students.
The resolution says tuition for students could jump as high as 25 percent if the initiatives pass.
"After these enrollment reductions and tuition increases, a funding shortfall would remain which would require the elimination of 54 full-time employees, with an accompanying reduction in programs and services."
The resolution says the initiatives "go too far, too fast in their effort to cap legislative taxing authority. Modest tax savings, estimated to be approximately $132 per person, cannot compensate for the monumental cost to Utah's economic competitiveness and human potential."
Because the contribution of higher education to Utah's future has taken decades to build, the damage resulting from passage of the initiatives could take at least a decade to repair.