To the editor:
The Utah tax initiative action of 1988 made a moderate contribution to a better understanding of the adverse effect of taxes that are disincentives to production and barriers to a healthy economy.Unfortunately, the property tax initiative, Proposal A, failed to distinguish between land and improvements, and the tax debate did not enlighten voters that a tax on land values is an incentive to production, most certainly not a disincentive.
The reduction and removal of building taxes will tend to make homes more affordable, whether owned or rented by residents. Massive government spending to alleviate the housing crunch has failed to do the job.
The Utah Joint Legislative Revenue and Taxation Committee is giving consideration to a constitutional amendment that would permit (not mandate) local governments to reduce and remove the property tax from improvements without lowering the aggregate property tax collected.
Tax reform, for which such a valiant effort was made in '88, can be a goal for the '90 general election, but this will call for a voter effort even greater than that of '88.
Earl A. Hanson, executive secretary
Intermountain Single Tax Association