Yes. We all enjoy the benefits of taxation, but some of us sure do like to grumble about paying them. Wouldn't it be great if we could pay the same amount for groceries, gas, and homes that we paid five years ago? It's been that long since many homes in Davis County have been assessed for any tax increase. Homeowners have rubbed their hands in glee at the rocketing values of their properties, but now that the taxman cometh, the smiles have stopped.
Any reasonable person can tell you that if values go up, taxes will follow. Property taxes directly benefit our schools and if Utahns continue to have large families, we all have to pay. It's called responsibility, not just for ourselves, but for everyone who takes advantage of an educated and skilled populace.
Last session, the state legislators played grandma. We all know the drill--the kids spend the night at grandma's and get everything they want, do anything they want, and eat sugar by the cupful. When they hit their own front door it is left to mom and dad to detox, discipline, and disappoint.
Grandma Legislator decreased the sales tax on food and gained the love of their constituents, but caused an estimated $17 million shortfall to the UTA. Now it's left to local city councils and county commissions to rectify the damage. It makes the state lawmakers look good, but in the long run it didn't do much good for the quality of life along the Wasatch Front. Face it, what is your family doing differently since you saved $1.20 at the grocery store?
Improved mass transit is better for all of us. Air quality continues to get worse and population growth in the suburbs will continue to tie up the highways. A reduction in a sales tax that benefited UTA is a blow against low- to moderate-income folks who don't own cars, ironically the very population the sales tax drop was supposed to help.
Ante up, Utahns. Pay your fair share and enjoy the benefits or else the next time you dial 911, be prepared to be put on hold and to start boiling your drinking water. The good life was never supposed to be free.
Raised in Davis County, Brandvold is employed in the financial industry -- and proud to be a Utah Democrat.