Monday, January 30, 2006

Remove Sales Tax on Food?

Why are some people in the State Senate so hesitant to remove the sales tax on food? Maybe it's because the municipal governments of Utah are a powerful lobbying force. The ULCT (among others) raised concerns recently that removing the sales tax on food might hurt bond ratings in some cities. My opinion on this matter is that cities are afraid to raise property taxes. They would much rather keep the sales tax on food, then give up the money and go to property owners and say we need x amount of dollars to function. Some other ways that cities make these increases without raising property taxes is to implement other taxes (for example a telecommunications tax). Why does it seem like local officials in Utah are afraid to go to their residents and say "We have this amount budgeted for the following services. In order to accomplish this, we have to cut back some of these services or raise your property taxes by X%." I believe that Utah residents are well educated enough to know whether they should cut back on certain services or pay more in property taxes to fund those services that they deem important. It has been said by many people recently that Utah's tax system is in need of an overhaul. An overhaul to me doesn't mean change a little here and a little there. An overhaul means major changes all across the board.

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