(BU) Libertarian Gary Whittle did not respond to the Deseret News questionnaire.District 46 includes the northwest sections of West Jordan, north of 78th South and west of 22nd West; the southern portions of Bennion south of 62nd South; and Kearns areas west of 56th West.
(BU) Some tax limitation is necessary to cut spiraling tax increases, but Rep. Michael Waddoups, R-Salt Lake, says he doesn't support the initiative calling for property tax limitation.
"I would support legislation to limit taxes after proper study," Waddoups said.
Waddoups, who was appointed to the Legislature two years ago, says he favors a rollback of the gasoline tax and prefers a compromise on sales tax rollbacks, including repeal of sales tax on food and medicine.
He said he supports limited tax credits for parents of children in private schools. "I feel an incentive for parents to send their children to private schools would help ease the burden on the public school system and would allow a choice in public education."
Regarding future tax increases, Waddoups advocates keeping taxes at present or slightly lower levels. "Social programs should not be allowed to grow and increase faster than the economy is growing."
The candidate says junior colleges and trade schools deserve strong student enrollment, and major universities should place academic emphasis on offerings for juniors and seniors and for graduate study.
Waddoups proposes consolidation of school districts as a way of cutting public education funding if the tax initiatives win voter approval. He said some course work changes would be required if elective courses are eliminated. As a last resort, Waddoups supports increasing the size of classes to compensate for decreased budgets.
Waddoups is a property manager and president of Cooperative Property Management Inc.
(BU) A little fine-tuning of the property tax limitation would get Democrat Paul Hiskey's support.
Hiskey said the cap the initiative would place on property taxes is too low in light of the youth of the state's population.
And the wording on the initiative calling for the rollback on gasoline, cigarette and sales taxes also causes problems.
"The problem with a general rollback of these taxes is that each of these was originally designed to meet a specific need," Hiskey said. "With the reduction or elimination of some of the federal dollars, that was used to be allocated for some of these specific needs, there was a need created to meet the demands of these specific budget items."
An example of this is the reduction in federal funds for highway projects, prompting the Legislature to increase gasoline taxes, he said.
"I would remove the sales tax from all essential food items and non-prescription medication, thus allowing relief for those not only on fixed incomes, but would provide relief for all Utahns," Hiskey said. "Therefore, as the petition is written I will have to oppose it."
Hiskey does not support the tax credit for parents of children enrolled in private schools. The large number of Utah school children would still warrant keeping open the schools, thus not reducing the fixed costs of education, he said.
Should those initiatives pass Nov. 8, the candidate said one way to cope with a decreased public-education budget would be consolidating services at the administration level. And school facilities should be used more efficiently.
Hiskey is a mechanical department foreman for Union Pacific Railroad.
District 47, which includes most of Taylorsville-Bennion, is generally bordered by the Jordan River on the east, 47th South on the north and 62nd South on the south. The west boundary is 40th West south of 54th South and 32nd West north of 54th South.
(BU) Rep. Arlo James, D-Kearns, says the rhetoric surrounding property tax limitation fails to include the devastating effect a similar proposition had on California.
"The limitation initiative salesmen often pointed out the savings California received from Proposition 13," James said. "However, they mislead the voters of Utah by neglecting to tell Utahns that California lost 36 percent of its services from Proposition 13."
Another reason the representative does not support the property tax initiative is several of the taxes citizen pay were applied by voters themselves to fund water districts, cemeteries, libraries, abatement districts and the Central Utah Project.
The income tax limitation initiative also fails to get James' support "for the simple reason (that) these taxes are the only taxes Utahns have that out-of-staters help support Utah with."
And the income tax credit for families with children attending private school would benefit middle- and upper-income residents, not the general population that needs public education, he said.
"I think the enrollment run on private schools would destroy the funding methods of public education, and private schools could not handle the increased enrollment if this was allowed," said James, who is seeking his fourth term.
And does his opponent, James said attracting high-paying jobs to the state is essential to economic well-being.
James is a proponent of a state lottery and calls for 51 percent of the profit going toward education.
(BU) James' Republican opponent, David Howick, said government "must be kept slim, trim and efficient." But the "passage of the property tax initiative cannot cut into the core of essential service delivery."
Howick said he supports the income tax limitation initiative "only if it can be demonstrated that services will not be drastically cut," he said. "If we jeopardize vital programs, such as education or public health, than a modified version of the proposal would be warranted."
But the Kearns resident opposes giving tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools unless it is changed to restructure home education requirements, which he maintains are flawed.
The ideal way to reduce residents' tax burdens "is by increasing wages and the number of people who pay taxes," the candidate said.
The goal can be achieved by a strong economic development program in Utah, Howick said.
"Economic development is the key to Utah's economic future," he said. "Incentives must be in place to attract new jobs and higher-paying jobs. The Legislature is limited in what jobs it can create.
"The main responsibility of the state is in the creation of an appealing environment. The Legislature can diminish the regulation, red tape and stumbling blocks to businesses locating in Utah."
Funding for the future through bonding should be done sparingly and cautiously, the candidate said, since bonding "means borrowing now, and higher taxes later. Bonding is only appropriate for physical acquisitions such as roads and buildings. Bonding is never acceptable to cover salaries, operating and maintenance costs."
Howick is president of the United Association of Community Councils, in Salt Lake County.
District 48, which includes most of the Kearns area, is bordered generally by 40th West on the east, 62nd South on the South, 56th West on the west and 47th South on the north.