October 3, 2023 – Today, the Utah Taxpayers Association launched a statewide pledge campaign to fight taxpayer-subsidized broadband networks. Since its founding in 1922, the Utah Taxpayers Association has cautioned that government should not be in the business of business. For over two decades, mostly under the radar of taxpayers, local governments have marched down the disastrous road of borrowing and spending taxpayer dollars to launch government owned broadband networks in communities that already have access to high-speed internet from the private sector. Despite often disastrous results, elected officials continue to burden future office holders and taxpayers with long term consequences that will only come to fruition long after current officeholders are gone. The countless examples of losses for taxpayers are ignored to reap short term popularity and re-election. Rusty Cannon, President of the Utah Taxpayers Association, offered the following comment:
“For far too long, Utah taxpayers have been saddled with debt and taxes from unnecessary government-owned and subsidized broadband networks. These projects have a history of disastrous results, including Provo’s loss of $40 million on iProvo and UTOPIA’s negative net worth of over -$300 million. It is time to change the paradigm in Utah before it is too late. Rather than continuing to only speak out against these efforts as they appear, the Utah Taxpayers Association is asking city council members and other elected officials and candidates to proactively look forward and pledge in public to vote against any effort of this kind. This will help ensure that future generations of elected officials and taxpayers are not left to clean up the mess from those that forget the lessons of history. Elected officials who demonstrate the foresight and courage to do what is right for their constituents and taxpayers should be supported. The Utah Taxpayers Association asks any and all organizations and individuals to join in that effort.”
More information can be found at: https://utahtaxpayers.org/pledge/ . The pledge text is as follows:
I,_____________, pledge to the voters of Utah that I will oppose and vote against efforts to fund, through taxpayer borrowing or spending, government-owned or subsidized broadband networks in areas and locations that already have access to high-speed internet.