‘Our Schools Now’ is a group of well-heeled and influential Utah citizens (mostly GOP moderates) who wants to finally get serious with on-going funding for K-12 education. They are looking at putting an initiative on the ballot for 2018. The ‘do-nothing’ legislature and Governor oppose this (of course).
Laudable--going around the legislature to get $750 million dollars more a year to fund K-12.
Ugly--raising the sales tax that really hits the poor.
Solution--return state income tax top rate back to 7% (from current 5%). ONLY for couples making $500K or more.
That 2% change alone gets Utah kids $322 million dollars a year. Then, tinker to get the other $428 million for the $750 million dollar total. Easier to convince the hardworking 99.5% of Utah workers to take a tax increase after restoring some tax fairness. Clawing back part of the huge bonanza given to the Romney’s and Huntsman’s etc. since the 'flat' started in 2006!
$322 million--a year--has gone directly from our school kids into the pockets of Utah's richest citizens.
Our Schools Now--if you are going the initiative route, forget about the political insiders and make Utah taxes fair! End the flat tax for the state's uber rich. Working Utahns will understand shared sacrifice to help education--even if the ideologues and rich power brokers do not.
How can you in good conscience ask the minimum wage worker or the struggling families of Utah to pay more--when you ignore the richest 1%?
Our Schools Now, I wouldn’t plan on a lot of support, money or volunteers, from Utah’s progressive communities until you present a plan that has tax fairness. Ratcheting up Utah’s education spending on the backs of the poor and middle class will not work, unless you are asking Utah’s uber rich to pay a bit more! Fair is fair.