Tax Limitation Coalition chairman Greg Beesley was loading boxes much of Friday in preparation for the move out of his campaign office.
But lest Utahns think they've seen the last of him following the defeat of the tax-limitation initiatives earlier this week, Beesley is vowing to continue the fight for tax cuts, spending limitations and fiscal responsibility in government.Beesley, whose coalition headquarters has been at 970 E. 33rd South for more than a year, said his rent is paid up until Nov. 15, and he plans to be out of the office by then.
"I'll keep an office in my home, which is nearby, in East Mill Creek. We certainly are not abandoning the tax-limitation movement. Far from it. We plan to work toward setting up a new political party in Utah, possibly we'll call it the Independent Party of Utah."
Beesley said he wants Gov. Norm Bangerter and the Legislature to make elimination of the sales tax on food a top priority when the Legislature begins meeting in January.
"Repeal of the sales tax on food would relieve all Utahns of an unfair burden and be especially beneficial to low- and middle-income citizens."
Most other states have eliminated the sales tax on food, which Beesley called "a noxious tax." He said Utah should join these other states as soon as possible.
"I estimate it will cost Utah about $100 million in revenue. The state can afford it, especially in the wake of the defeat of the tax initiatives."
Beesley said Bangerter owes his re-election to independent Merrill Cook's campaign and to many people who abandoned Ted Wilson to support Cook.
"The governor's own pollster reported two-thirds of those who voted for Cook would have voted for Wilson if it had been a two-man contest. Cook fought for the people's right to have their tax burden reduced.
"The least the governor can do is extend the olive branch to Mr. Cook and the more than 136,000 Utahns who voted for him by recommending to the Legislature that the sales tax on food be eliminated."
A building contractor, Beesley said his business had been falling off the past few years "because of Utah's poor economy. I had plenty of free time so I campaigned for the tax initiatives. The economy is still bad and I expect I will still have some free time, so I will continue working for Utahns, for tax cuts and for an independent party in Utah."
He said the Utah Tax Limitation Coalition is broke. "We raised about $45,000 and we've spent it all, mostly on advertising."