Ballot Question 1 is misleading at best, but just wrong at worst. Under Article XIII, Section 5 of the state Constitution, “Proceeds from … an excise tax on liquid motor fuel … shall be used for … (b) the construction, maintenance and repair of State and local roads…" and “All revenue from … a tax on income shall be used to support the systems of public education …” The ballot question and all of the hype around it says that the proposed 10-cents-a-gallon gas tax will go to provide money for education.
That is a lie. Money collected from this tax increase must go to the state’s transportation fund, period. There is no guarantee that any money “freed up” in the general fund will go to education.
Sure, this year’s Legislature may “promise” that, but there is nothing binding next year’s Legislature to do so. If the proponents want to increase school funding, they need to change the income tax rates. We have a Constitution — use it.
Proponents say they believe this will help apply this needed tax increase equally across the board. The poor spend a disproportionate part of their household income on food and transportation, and this will exacerbate that.
Proponents say visitors to our state will help fund the education of our kids. True, but whatever happened to us taking personal responsibility for our kids? So, while we're being truthful, why not just admit that this is a way for the wealthy to avoid paying more for public education via an increased income tax.
Truth in taxation. Remember — that was a principle that Utah used to tout to the world. Well, there is no truth in this proposal — just empty promises and more taxes.