Updated April 2022
Since my first campaign effort seeking to represent House District 13 that began more than four years ago, I have not retreated from my consistent position of the importance that the State Legislature must begin to pay more attention to SENIOR CITIZEN issues and their needs. Their issues have not changed, but have grown increasingly more desperate for many of them.
Higher property values increasingly add to higher property taxes that make it impossible for more senior citizens to live comfortably in their retirement.
The measly tax credit given to senior citizens for their state social security taxes created by the 2021 State Legislature does not go nearly far enough to help our elderly pay for increased monthly Medicare premiums that are more than their increased monthly social security payments they receive this year from the federal government.
Our senior citizens have less total fixed income than before.
Without grandparents, there wouldn't be anybody to read this website. Their sacrifices, in many cases, made it possible for the "last" adult generation to have a life that by many measures became better than their own. Many grandparents have become child care givers, helping their own children by taking care of their children's children. Many elderly grew up during a time when hard work, frugal spending, and looking out for others were the values of their time. They conscientiously saved their money, paid taxes regularly for social security for decades with the expectation that their Golden Years would be lived in security and peace of mind.
The Future Economic Security of Our Senior Citizens Threatened
Now many senior citizens find themselves on fixed incomes, many living alone with little support. Yet even today many of our elderly continue to pay taxes for children of other families that they don't have and worry about the threats to their social security and Medicare even as health issues with their high costs become more and more urgent. For anyone under the age of 52 years old, a Social Security trustee report forecasts that by the time they retire, the fund will only be able to pay 76 percent of scheduled payments for retirement "Even before coronavirus, Social Security was staring at a shortfall," The Washington Post (May 25, 2020). As a former employee in the administrative offices of Shauna O'Neill, Salt Lake County Aging Services Director back in the early nineties, I witnessed first hand some of the pressing issues faced by the elderly. Senior citizens had to cope with crime in Central City, increasing number of housing repairs, lack of physical accessibility, complications with Social Security, and major changes in physical health, and even the death of a spouse. I understand the central role that County governments have in providing help to senior citizens. I am a firm believer in consolidating and coordinating services to the elderly and the need for tax reform to begin to accommodate senior citizens' special life circumstances.
If elected, I will work to:
ELIMINATE ALL STATE TAXES ON SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
STUDY FREEZING PROPERTY TAXES OF SENIOR CITIZENS DIRECTED TOWARDS EDUCATION
Most importantly, the elderly deserve the full benefits of Social Security and Medicare that they paid for and as promised by the American government and the people of the United States for their well-being into their Golden Years. It is forecast that our Social Security and Medicare trust funds will run out in our own lifetimes. As your Utah State House Representative, I will fight for our seniors and continually demand from and shine a public spotlight on our Utah Congressional Delegation that they take action now and reveal to Utah voters their own specific plans or positions that they will push for in 2023 and beyond to save our medical care and social security into our old age or that they step aside. This issue can no longer be ignored because of politics or fear of voters.