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TAXPAYERS NEED RELIEF FROM BIG SPENDERS

Salt Lake County residents are taxed beyond their capacity. We are taxed everywhere we turn, in every part of our lives.

Forty-seven percent of county taxpayers believe taxes are too high and that most or all of them should be lowered. Middle-income Utahns carry the greatest tax burden. Thirty-seven percent want county property taxes lowered first.Yet county commissioners increased taxes on our food and homes, added taxes for local parks, and favor taxes for the arts, mass transit and pet food. Seniors are being taxed out of their homes and young families out of buying homes. This is wrong.

These commissioners are responsible for the largest county budgets in history. Their budget increases outpace the county's population growth by 4 to 1 and local inflation by 3 to 1. Their only solution is to find new, insidious ways to tax. With a prosperous local economy, greater population density and advanced technology, the commissioners should be managing our tax dollars more efficiently and at a lower cost per capita. Taxes should go down - not up.

Taxes can and should be cut. We must end the current commission's quest of seeking new ways to tax citizens and business. We will change from waste, mismanagement and cronyism to effective and efficient use of tax dollars, safe neighborhoods, parks and recreational facilities and educational opportunities.

Higher taxes take money out of your pocket. You lose power over your money. It is wrong to assume that county government knows how to better spend your money than you do.

Government is supposed to serve the people. My door will be open, and I will seek the taxpayers' advice on how to spend his or her money.

The county should provide only those critical functions that cannot be done by individuals or private entities. Over the past decades, Salt Lake County's population and density have grown tremendously, and its demographics have changed, yet county government continues to operate the same old, expensive ways.

The current commissioners increased the number of departments from three to four. I will cut this back to three, for starters. Next, I will freeze growth in management.

Salt Lake County encompasses twelve cities and towns and over 40 taxing entities. It is ridiculous to duplicate services. I will work with the cities, towns and community councils to share government services and eliminate the double taxation, while retaining each community's uniqueness.

I will induce competition in government services. Competition lowers costs and improves results. Why should county government operate in ways no private business could afford? Working people know what they have to do to keep their customers satisfied. We all have to work better, faster and cheaper. It is time county government learns about the real world.

The county must follow local developments and develop short- and long-term plans to provide services at lower cost. Poor planning by the current commissioners has cost Salt Lake County residents millions of dollars. For example, poor planning is requiring us to pay $41 million in interest for the Salt Palace. That money could have provided residents with recreational facilities, libraries and public safety, and reduced our property taxes.

Government programs are developed and implemented with the intent of solving problems. Unfortunately, many of these programs have not met their original intent. I will immediately review county programs and eliminate those that are not meeting legitimate needs.

Budgets should fund services, not bureaucracies. The current county budgeting process focuses on justifying annual budget increases. Budgets should be based on results, such as the need for 100 street lights to curb vandalism, rather than on increasing bureaucracies.

Government's performance in providing services should be regularly evaluated to improve results. Programs that don't perform must be altered or cut. My background gives me unique preparation for this role.

Excessive and inconsistent regulations stifle initiative and frustrate citizens and government employees. County government must protect its citizens with minimum interference and intrusion into our lives.

It is time to require accountability from state and federal bureaucrats who make demands without paying. Salt Lake County cannot continue to bear the burden of outside demands on our time and money.