To the editor:
The claim that Utah voters approved spending millions of sales tax dollars to build a luge and other Olympic facilities - even before Utah is selected as the site for the Games - is not true.Even though reported as fact repeatedly in the news media over the past many months, it simply is not factual. It may be inference, conclusion or a point of view that some people would like us to believe, but it just did not happen.
When asked about the basis of such a claim, media representatives cited the vote of Nov. 7, 1989. However, that vote was announced in advance in the media as a non-binding referendum. Surely a non-binding referendum cannot reasonably be the basis for claiming or reporting that voters approved such use of sales tax revenues.
Also, the ballot itself was titled at the top, "Winter Olympic Games opinion question." The question on the ballot was headed, "Opinion Question No. 1"; and the question was worded: "Should Utah continue its effort to host the Winter Olympic Games?" Quite plainly, the question put to the voters did not even mention the giving of authority for spending millions of sales tax dollars for building Olympic facilities. Just as plainly, the voting results did no approve any such thing.
As a matter of fact, the voters were not even given the opportunity to vote on the question of whether sales tax money should be spent for such purpose. If that was the question the perpetrators wanted answered, why didn't they put that question on the ballot forthrightly?
Utah voters did not approve spending millions of sales tax dollars for building Olympic facilities, despite unfounded statements in the news media indicating that they did.
Grant S. Williams