The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Initiative 1

By [email protected]

Dear Editor:

In reviewing the issues of the upcoming election the so called “Open Space” initiative is not the most important issue on voter’s minds, but after looking at it I realize it is seriously flawed. I think we need to be concerned about a $195 million sales tax increase, and $150 million dollar bond that funds convention centers, and museums, and is spent by an unelected commission, but is sold as a feel good measure for clean air and water. Last time I checked convention centers were not open space.

In the articles I have read, proponents of the Initiative claim the legislature has been slow to act, when in fact they have spent billions over the past 10 years on keeping farm land open and our air and water clean. In fact, air and water quality has improved and is continuing to improve, without a tax increase.

Supporters also say that this “small tax increase” is equal to two movie tickets, but those “small tax increases” add up and pretty soon you are paying for not just two movie tickets but the entire theatre. I know as starving students we all struggle to get by so the last thing I need is another tax going to fund someone’s special interest project. Sales taxes hit students and low income families the hardest, as students we pay more sales tax than both property and income taxes.

As students of a state funded university we also need to be concerned about the state using up all of their bonding capacity on initiatives like this one which would put more pressing issues such as education buildings like the Marriot Library, and transportation on the back burner, and would not allow the legislature to prioritize the needs of the state.

Everyone I know wants open space, that’s not the question; the question is this the right way to address the issue, through a initiative full of holes and unanswered questions. I do not want an unelected commission spending $150 million of our tax dollars on who knows what, when it could be spent on things such as fixing the library, and keeping tuition costs from rising. Therefore, I would urge all to vote no on Initiative 1.

Andrew Stewart

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