« Home | State individual income tax rates keep dropping » | State School Board Nominating Committee » | Consumption, Production, and Economic Growth » | Time for a tax cut » | Corridor Preservation » | Transportation » | Herriman City's Bad Idea: A Public Safety "User Fe... » | State Sales Tax Revenues Are Understated by More T... » | Welcome » | Utah Taxpayer »

Sleeper Issue for 2007 General Session

Some issues are debated every year at the Legislature: tax cuts, tax hikes, vouchers, charter schools, public education, transportation, Truth-in-Taxation.

Every couple of years, a sleeper issue dominates the headlines, catches everyone off guard and causes a big ruckus: credit unions vs. banks, UTOPIA, and subsidies for a soccer stadium.

We'll be a little bold and make a prediction: one of the sleeper issues for the 2007 Session will be Utah's state spending limitation law.

In 2004, Rep. Greg Hughes (R-Draper) sponsored
HB66, a taxpayer-friendly bill that strengthened Utah's very weak spending limitation law. The bill passed each chamber overwhelmingly (48-17-10 in the House and 18-5-6 in the Senate.)

Why will this be an issue in the 2007 session? Stay tuned.

I remember HB66 from the 04 session. It didn't seem to be a big deal back then, and that was only two and a half years ago. If I recall correctly, it was a mainly a straight party vote (unless you consider Cal Bird a Republican)

We'll see how fiscally conservative our Republican governor and legislature are on this one.

The current law is way too weak. It exempts K-12 and transportation. I can't believe they would try to make it even weaker.

While we're talking about tax advantages and the issue of government competing with private industry, why don't we take up the issue of Tax Exempt credit unions. They have been getting a free ride for too long. They drive on the same roads, utilize the same well-trained, state educated employee pool that banks do. And yet they pay no taxes. The money paid by Utah banks amounts to millions of dollars every year. In addition, they are willing sponsors of everything in the community from little-league teams to senior citizen information packets. At the same time, Utah credit unions pay no taxes and pay very little attention to community involvment except when it will butter their own bread. As a business man, I once told a community fund raiser that if they could get the "local" (very very big) credit union to contribute, I would match them dollar for dollar. He left full of confidence. He returned some days later with this sad story. They told him, "because we are a non-profit" organization, we just can't make those kinds of contributions". I then showed him their published annual report, available on the Financial Instituions we site, where it indicated they had "reserved" millions of dollars for "reserves". Since they are not required to keep that level of reserves, I pointed out to him that the money would be used to advertise against banks and to pay for the expansion of their branches. They build some of the most expensive building in the industry.

I think it is about timte to make them play in the same game as banks. If they are going to compete for the same business, which they do, including a major effort to recruit business clients, then they should pay the same taxes as every other business does in the State.

Just one question: is it for the children?

Post a Comment