& SCHOOLS

Fair taxes are supposed to pay for government services that benefit the public such as state roads, rest stops, and state parks and offer support to those who experience difficult times which the State Legislature has decided deserve help such as victims of crime or the elderly who can't afford to repair their aging homes that are falling apart.  A majority of the State's revenue goes to support public education.  There have been efforts to increase the State's sales tax or the gasoline tax to raise $180,000,000 dollars to indirectly allow the State to increase funding for public education.   What hasn't been discussed is the 4.95% flat income tax rate that applies to all Utah residents equally and that the state uses to raise revenue. 


Considering that the very rich (which may be arbitrarily defined as those people making over $1,000,000 a year) with their lawyers and accountants have often used government and its laws to find ways to obtain special tax credits or deductions that often allow the very rich to pay less of their 4.95% income taxes.  it may come as no surprise that almost all the rest of us Utah residents likely end up paying more than our fair share for public education.  


Maybe it's time to look into this possible imbalance as to who funds and how we fund our state government and local schools.  What do you think?  Do you think that a 0.05 percent increase would be too much to ask those people who have been able to greatly lower their effective tax rate of 4.95% according to Time Magazine as opposed to say a 10-cent increase per gallon in our gasoline tax  for anyone who drives a gasoline driven vehicle?  I really wonder what most of the more than 36,348 millionaires (2006) in our State would think?  The voters this fall will have an opportunity to voice their opinion on the gasoline tax increase (which admittedly would help to reduce our State's terrible air pollution).  Which ever way the public decides, as a Utah House Representative I would continue to push for the fair reform of our income tax laws for the people of Utah and the lower and middle and upper-middle income residents in my Legislative House District.

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