The 1989 Legislature was "unresponsive" to supporters of the failed tax initiatives and is forcing them to resort again to the petition process, said their lobbyist, Merrill Cook.
Lawmakers took no action on the Tax Limitation Coalition's legislative goal: Removing the sales tax from food, a tax cut that carries a price tag of at least $60 million.Cook said an initiative petition is being prepared to do just that and should be ready for circulation by April. He predicted wide support intensified by the failure of lawmakers to approve any tax cut.
"The fact that taking the sales tax off food didn't capture the imagination of the Legislature doesn't mean it won't capture the imagination of the people," Cook said.
The man who unsuccessfully ran for governor based on his support for the tax-cutting initiatives rejected by voters last fall said the $19 million income tax reduction proposed by Gov. Norm Bangerter would have been insignificant.
"I think people would have had to take their microscopes out to find the change on their tax forms," Cook said of a drop in income tax rates approved by the House but not the Senate in the last hours of the session.
The governor, who refused to call the inaction a defeat, said during a press conference immediately following the session that he did not want to comment on any future tax initiatives.
"People are going to do what they think they need to do," said Bangerter, who opposed the tax initiatives but succeeded in getting legislation through to put limits on state spending.