To the editor:
The Utah Constitution is the fundamental law of the state. Is the Utah income tax in conflict with any provisions of the Utah Constitution? Yes.Does a Christian have the right to freely exercise his Christian religion that, "Thou shalt not steal"? He certainly does. Does he also have a right, and a Christian duty, to abstain from helping state employees steal? Again, he does. Does he also have a duty to not accept stolen property for his own use? I say he does.
Now let us test the Utah income tax against a provision of the Utah Constitution, which reads:
"Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation." (Article 1, Sec. 22)
How would you say, "Thou shalt not steal," using other words: Thou shalt not take another's property without paying for it, or government shall not take another's property without paying for it, or government shall not take another's private property for public use without returning just compensation for it?
Certainly, money is private property, and taxation is the way government takes money for public use, therefore, it follows that government must return just compensation for such money.
Since the Utah income tax is based upon ability to pay, i.e., taking from those who have the ability to pay, and exempting those who do not, it follows that the Utah income tax is in conflict with Article 1, Sec. 22, and therefore cannot be constitutional.
E. Dean Christensen