Thursday, February 02, 2006

The State Surplus: Your Money, Your Choice

The state of Utah has a budget surplus of $1 billion dollars. According to the 2000 census, there are 2,233,169 people in the state. Assuming that the state has increased in population by 10% since then (and it probably hasn't) there are roughly 2,456,485 people in the state. Assuming everyone of those people pays taxes (and they don't) everyone paid roughly $407 too much in state taxes.

From KUER:
How should the state of Utah’s huge budget surplus be used? For schools? For roads? Or should taxes be cut? Here’s the chance for your voice to be heard by legislators and the governor. The Salt Lake Tribune, KUER radio and KUED television have teamed up to create “The State Surplus: Your Money, Your Choice.” It’s a quick-and-easy online menu of how you think the state surplus -- your tax dollars -- should be used. Or, you can voice your opinion by calling our number at 581-6777.

Let your voice be heard: The State Surplus: Your Money, Your Choice

Here's my breakdown of how I'd like to see the money spent and why:
Repeal the sales tax on food: $165 million
Annual taxes bring in $165 million, lets eliminate this tax.

Reduce income tax: $60 million
This will reduce the income tax from 7% to 5%. I like paying less tax on my income.

Public Education: $350 million
Utah has the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation. I think our kids are worth more than that.

Higher Education: $150 million
Again, I believe in the value of education.

Arts/Culture: $50 million

Healthcare: $75 million
A large portion of my taxes go to pay for other people's healthcare. I'd like to see that amount reduced.

Social Programs: $75 million
Same reason as above.

Economic Development: $25 million

Water Development: $25 million

Rainy Day Fund: $25 million
I know this one should be more. But there's just not enough money.

Total = $1,000,000,000


At 1:30 PM, Blogger Maine Man said...

Okay, I'm no longer a Utah resident, but I do plan to live there again sometime.

I'm with you on repealing the food sales tax, increasing funding to education (both levels) and some of your other choices.

I think that if $60 Million will reduce income taxes from 7% to 5%, why not reduce taxes from 7% to 0%? The money belongs to the people, so why not give it back? Also, I don't see how spending more money (even if it is from a surplus) on other people's health care reduces the amount of money spent on health care. Same goes for the other areas.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Tyler Farrer said...

Sorry, Jamo,

I've got to go with Tyler on this one. I say $0 on Arts/Culture. Let's stick with the core functions of government.


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