Just over a month after their three initiatives were soundly defeated at the polls, tax limitation advocates are conducting a statewide telephone survey to determine what support there is for future measures.
Few details of the seven-day survey, scheduled to be finished by Thursday, are being made available although a leader of the Tax Limitation Coalition, Mills Crenshaw, said the results would be made public later this week.The survey is being conducted by an unnamed polling company that has done similar work for political organizations within the state, according to Crenshaw, whose radio talk show helped spark the coalition.
It will ask respondents their feelings on a wide range of tax-related issues, including whether they support removing sales tax on food. The coalition had indicated that would be their first priority.
The survey will also attempt to zero in on what type of property tax reductions would be supported by voters as well as their opinion of a variation on the idea of a tax break for parents of children in private schools.
Other issues include eliminating all sales taxes, requiring a referendum on proposed bonding for a new county jail and a "Bill of Rights" to protect taxpayers from "arbitrarily increased" property taxes.
In November, voters rejected three tax initiatives that would have limited property tax rates and government growth, rolled back increases in sales, income, gas and cigarette tax, and given parents of children in private schools a tax break.
A "war council" held shortly after the election among the members of the committee that directs the coalition came up with the plan to survey residents about what kind of tax reform they want, Crenshaw said. The purpose is not just to find out how people would vote on the issues, but also how much effort they would be willing to make to see changes enacted.
Although tens of thousands of Utahns signed petitions to get the tax initiatives on the November ballot, support for the tax-cutting measures steadily declined as opponents mounted an extensive campaign.
"I think we're going to be able to delineate the doers from the talkers - those who are willing to fight for what they want rather than just pay it lip service," Crenshaw said.
The coalition is determined not to be beaten again. This time, Crenshaw said, their plans will be better thought-out and will involve "significant funding over a long period of time."
The poll results will probably be released either Thursday or Friday, Crenshaw said, possibly on his midday radio program on "K-TALK" radio.