Nonbinding Opinion Question No. 1 on the 2018 Utah ballot is concerning for taxpayers — the people of Utah.
Utah has more than $500 million in surplus for the state’s budget. Instead of raising taxes on Utah families, the Utah Legislature should be allocating the funding with money that already exists. If people live on a budget, the government should also be living on a budget.
Gas is already expensive, and the gas tax will just make it more expensive. This tax increase will cost drivers $4 per month. This will be another tax burden on families.
More of these taxes will hurt families, especially those who already have financial burdens. According to the Utah Constitution, all gas tax proceeds must be used for motor vehicles and public roads. Quoting an op-ed, “The Utah Legislature has allocated $1.2 billion in additional funds to education over the last three years.” Children are already getting a great education for what is being spent. Utah is No. 1 in eighth-grade science and No. 8 for fourth-grade science.
According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, Utah has the No. 1 economic outlook in the United States. However, New York is No. 50. In 2016, Utah spent the least per pupil ($6,953) while New York spent the most per pupil ($22,366). Spending more does not necessarily equal better quality.
Education and fixing roads are important. However, remember fiscal responsibility. As campaigns for Question 1 suggest, it is about putting kids first. Instead, Utah should be putting families first.