The facts presented in a lawsuit are based on circumstances and evidence at the time of happening - not five years later. Should Gov. Leavitt lose his appeal for a 6 percent interest payoff to federal and military retirees, take comfort in these facts: The yields from investments made during the late 1970s and early 1980s were well above 12 percent. Many investments yielded 14-16 percent and some as high as 18 percent.

We federal retirees would much rather have invested our income taxes at those high rates instead of paying them to the state as illegal taxes. The 12 percent awarded by the courts is fair. This is also the rate the Tax Commission charges on delinquent tax returns.The Tax Commission has, in addition to the 12 percent, late penalty charges and can place liens on the property of individuals. Individuals do not have this same privilege against government.

Quoting the governor's own words, "We will pay whatever the Utah Supreme Court says." The district court and the Utah Supreme Court have ruled. It is now time for Leavitt to honor his word, abide by the court decision and pay up. Let's put this lawsuit to bed.

John R. Thunell

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