Salt Lake City—The Utah Taxpayers Association today announced its opposition to the Nebo School District’s proposed $160 million bond on the Tuesday, June 23, 2009 primary election.
“Nebo taxpayers simply can’t afford to pay another $302 per year in taxes,” said M. Royce Van Tassell, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association. “The Nebo School District’s extravagant $160 million bond ignores the financial pain Utah taxpayers are already facing. Raising taxes is the absolute worst policy Nebo School District can pursue during a recession of these historic proportions.”
The current recession is the worst recession in at least 30 years. Since July 2008, Utah unemployment has increased, and state forecasters do not expect job growth to increase before the end of 2010. The value of the S & P 500 plummeted more than 50 percent in the 18 months between October 2007 and March 2009. Taxpayers have felt the impact of this economic downturn by cutting back on consumer purchases, as indicated by a 10.4 percent decrease in Utah’s sales tax collections this year.
“Nebo School District has violated the spirit, if not the letter of Utah’s law regarding special elections,” continued Van Tassell. “This $160 million bond will be the only election conducted in June. Without even a municipal primary election happening at the same time, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Nebo School District chose the June election to minimize voter turnout, which is expected to be less than 5 percent.”
“There is little doubt that the Nebo School District continues to grow rapidly, and will need to build additional buildings,” concluded Van Tassell. “If the District is confident that taxpayers won’t view their proposed buildings as ‘Taj Mahals,’ why aren’t they waiting for the November election, when far more taxpayers will be going to the polls?”
The Utah Taxpayers Association is a non-profit membership organization representing thousands of individuals and businesses across the state. The Association is the only organization that devotes its entire efforts to making sure Utah has lower taxes and an efficient government.
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