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Friday, September 30, 2005

Tax Reform Discussions

By Curtis S. Bramble
District 16

The Standard Examiner reported a group in Ogden will host a tax reform discussion, because none of the official town meetings are scheduled for their city. The Tax Reform Task Force will hold public hearings at various locations but it’s nearly impossible to hold them in every city and town in the state.

Scott Schwebke got it right when he reported I applauded the Ogden group for organizing their own public meeting.

There will be six public hearings in October (we’ve already held one in Logan), but we need far more than six discussions on tax reform in Utah. There should be scores of meetings and thousands of conversations. Citizens should hold meetings in every part of the state. We should be talking about this in Rotary Clubs, in the classroom, at the water cooler and the dinner table. Every group and individual with an interest should be actively engaged in the discussion.

Then, when you’ve reached your best conclusion, you should communicate your viewpoint to your senators and representatives, so it can be converted into action at the legislature. That’s the American system.

I hope that Ogden will not be our only city to organize its own tax reform discussion. If Utahns are good at anything, it is finding solutions and making a difference through spontaneous community organization. That’s a local tradition we should treasure and cultivate.

If I can help, please let me know.


Blogger The Senate Site said...

Here are the times and locations for the upcoming Tax Reform Task Force Public Hearings:

October 19, 2005 at 5:30 p.m.
Utah State Capitol, West Building

October 25, 2005 at 12:00 p.m.
Western Park, 300 East 200 South

October 25, 2005 at 6:00 p.m.
County Commission Chambers, 120 East Main

Oct 26, 2005 at 6:00 p.m.
Dixon Middle School, 750 West 200 North

Oct 27, 2005 at 12:00 p.m.
Cedar City Chambers (Old Post Office), 10 North Main

October 27, 2005 at 6:00 p.m.
Washington County Commission Chambers, 197 East Tabernacle Street

9/30/2005 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, Sen. Bramble - be sure that your positive "tax policy" - is not "killed" by the "Church" just because of tax-breaks for those who "tithe" - In my opinion, the people that "tithe" only to get a tax-deduction, are tithing for the wrong reasons.

Why must "Church Policy" overwhelm "Good PUBLIC policy??

10/03/2005 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the idea is as much that the LDS Church (or any other church) is afraid of losing their tithes. But think of it this way: I am in the upper middle-class category. I live on a budget, paycheck to paycheck. One of the most recent proposals will raise my taxes about $800/year. That equates to over $70/month -- something that *will* be a burden on my family.

Now, I am going to keep paying my tithes like a faithful member of my church. However, under the new system, I am going to be forced to choose between donating to the Church via my tithes, and giving a monthly donation to another charity of my choice - something I enjoy doing as well. However, because I do live paycheck to paycheck, I am no longer going to be able afford to donate to both, because of the increased tax burden.

Churches recognize this. They understand that most of us will continue to pay our tithes, but other great causes will likely suffer because of situations like mine. Since most faiths support good humanitarian organizations that are faith-unaffiliated, they see the drop in donations to other causes as a "bad thing."

Legislatures need to be extremely careful with their attempts at reforming the system, because of this impact on good causes.

Additionally, imposing taxes on healthcare and other services to balance things out is unaccaptable. The necessities to sustain life should always be considered sacred, and should never be touched by the government, under any circumstances. In an era of already skyrocketing healthcare costs, imposing sales taxes on healthcare is especially unwise, even if it *does* "balance out" on the income taxes.

10/05/2005 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So If I tithe to my religion I can then claim and get taxes back from the government. So the Church gets my money, I get the peoples money... Cool !!!!!!!! Im going to start a church... I worship myself... I will tithe 100% and I want all of that back!!! Lets totally mix church and state, well call it the State of The Church.

Good loop hole!

10/06/2005 11:58 AM  

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