Statement Opposing “Our Schools Now” Tax Increase
Salt Lake City, UT (June 6, 2017) — Today, a group calling themselves “Our Schools Now” announced the filing of a ballot initiative that, if successful, would increase the income and sales tax rates of hard-working and already over-taxed Utahns.
In response, Libertas Institute’s Director of Policy Michael Melendez issued the following statement:
The corporate elite of Utah have finally decided how they want to reach into taxpayers’ pockets, and, instead of offering any real solutions, they remain committed to the same worn-out, disproven tax hike band-aid.
Additional funding to government schools must be tied to a real change in the philosophy of education in classrooms.
This income and sales tax hike will hit lower- and middle-class Utahns the hardest at a time when their tax burden has increased substantially in recent years, such as for gas, property, and purchases.
We need to have a real discussion in Utah about the priorities for the state’s $16 billion budget. Instead, this initiative will be a major distraction—and one that existing data suggests will not actually increase education outcomes, as its proponents claim.
Libertas Institute’s president, Connor Boyack, has separately written about how past increases in education funding have not led to better outcomes.
Should enough signatures be gathered to place this issue on the ballot, our organization intends to educate Utah voters as to why this harmful tax increase will not lead to the promises and claims made by its supporters.