In the Utah Taxpayers Association most recent report, and no surprise, it was announced that Utah has the 4th highest tax and fee burden in the nation. As far as income tax burden, Utah takes the 16th highest bite out of total personal income of its citizens. Although this was something for which I was well aware, it leaves me once again with ample evidence to diagnose our state government with political schizophrenia.
From George W. Bush to Ronald Reagan, we have all become well aware of "conservative" fiscal policy. "The economy is best served when citizens keep more of their money", this is a theory which I believe in. When people feel they have control over their pocket books they are more likely to go out and buy a automobile, give money to their United Way, and start a small business, etc. When people have the expectation, and/or know that the government may take a large portion of their income through taxation they are likely to hold onto their clunker automobile, give less or nothing to charity, and will stick it out in a 9-5 job that offers little chance of advancement. Supposedly, low taxes is policy that "Red Utah" would adhere to. However, with Utah beating out "True Blue" states like California and Massachusetts our legislature likely should take a hard look at themselves and ask what party are we supposedly aligned with? Maybe Democratic Party candidate in Congressional District 1, Steve Olsen, is right on target in his essay Why Most Utahns Are Democrats and Just Don't Know It Yet, the numbers at which our state levies taxes seems to point to that conclusion.
I believe in low taxation. When the government allows people to hold and spend more of their money, they will do many of the things that bring prosperity to our nation -- without the artificial economic stimulation or spending, and people will be more altruistic to private charities -- without threat of search and seizure. I hope that the Governor and the Legislature will seek tax cuts that are meaningful to all Utahns.