To the editor:
A 5 percent increase in electric and gas utility costs would be the result if the Cedar City City Council would increase their franchise tax charged to customers of Utah Power & Light Co., and Mountain Fuel. The idea was suggested at thework meeting of the City Council on March 15.An alternative would be a reduction in utility costs in Cedar City by the removal of the present 1 percent franchise tax. The Intermountain Single Tax Association will urge the alternative at the next work meeting of the Council on April 5.
To justify an increased penalty on consumers, it was pointed out, other Utah cities charge as much as 6 percent in their franchise tax or charge up to 6 percent in their combination of franchise tax and license.
The best argument for a consumer tax, if one would want to argue, would be that this increase would make possible some reduction in the worst of all taxes, the property tax.
But it is only the improvement part of the property tax that makes it the worst of taxes. The best of all taxes, because it encourages production and advances economic equality, is the tax on land values.
While Senate Joint Resolution No. 14 did not get through the Rules Committee, the ideas must not be permitted to die. It recognizes the need for the reduction and removal of taxes on improvements.
Earl A. Hanson
Intermountain Single Tax Association