POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Gov. Herbert: It’s time for candidates to “step up” on tax reform

Jan 23, 2020, 2:55 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2022, 4:19 pm
FILE — Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert talks with media after taking a ride Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, in an F-35 cockpit demonstrator, at the University of Utah. He's suggesting candidates to replace him should speak up now about tax reform (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Just after announcing he and legislative leaders will fully repeal a tax reform package approved in special session, Gov. Gary Herbert called on the next governor – and those who hope to obtain the job – to take action.

In his monthly news conference on PBS Utah, Herbert called the tax reform repeal an “opportunity for those running for governor who, in fact, have been critical of this process.”

Time to step up

“It’s time for them to step up,” he told reporters, and argued candidates should “let the public know” what their ideas were to address tax reform.

Several candidates for governor from both Republican and Democratic parties endorsed the referendum to get tax reform on the 2020 Ballot.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, notably, would not endorse the referendum due to his role overseeing elections for the state, though he opposed raising the sales tax on food.

Where the candidates stand on tax reform

Four Republican candidates for governor appeared on KSL NewsRadio’s “Dave & Dujanovic” Thursday to discuss the issue of tax reform: Jeff Burningham, Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder-Newton, former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

Asked what he would do to address tax reform as governor, Burningham told Dave & Dujanovic he thinks Utah does not have a revenue problem, but that state government has a “spending problem.” As governor, he said he would call for a “top to bottom audit of the government.”

“The sales tax doesn’t fit who we are as Utahns,” he added.

Winder-Newton said she would look at the gas tax and transportation funding.

“Do you want transportation to be user-based or do you want it to be lumped into the budget?” she asked, arguing for a robust discussion on the issue.

Huntsman, who signed a bill to reduce the sales tax on food in 2006, said he would work with lawmakers to “improve our tax policy that broadens the base, lowers the rate” if elected.

Cox argued that lawmakers need to include leaders in education on tax reform discussions.

“We have to have the education community at the table having these discussions on board with us. What was missing with this piece was the education community,” he said. “That can’t happen.”

 

Former speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, Greg Hughes, spoke on Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry to discuss tax reform in the wake of Gov. Herbert’s tax reform repeal.

“I think what you saw was that the people and the public were not brought along on this tax proposal,” he told Lonsberry. And he said he believes that Governor Herbert missed an opportunity to use his unique bully pulpit, as governor, to bring the people of Utah into the discussion.

“If I’m governor, that’s what you would have.”

Thomas Wright is also a gubernatorial candidate in Utah, and when Lee Lonsberry asked him to discuss tax reform in the wake of the repeal this week he said the biggest problem was timing.

“If I had been governor, I would have said to the legislature, ‘let’s bring a bill forward before we call the special session,” Wright said. “If the final bill had been presented to the public before the special session was called, a lot of these concerns would have been heard.”

Republican Jason Christensen, who is also a gubernatorial candidate in Utah, did not comment specifically on the recent repeal. But in a YouTube video, Christensen says he’d get rid of income and property tax and institute a state lottery to fund education.

Election Day is Nov. 3, 2020.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Listen on Google Play Music

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

The Utah Education Association is opposed to H. B. 215. The UEA says school choice and a teacher pa...
Devin Oldroyd

School choice bill is “limiting” public schools, UEA president says

Utah Education Association president Renee Pinkney says the controversial school choice bill is "weakening" and "limiting" public schools.
22 hours ago
FrontRunner...
Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
22 hours ago
The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Lindsay Aerts

Utah House votes to pass transgender-related surgery ban

The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses the treatment of hormone blockers.
22 hours ago
A bill that would encourage Utah communities to bump Halloween festivities — like trick-or-treati...
Logan Stefanich

Utah resolution proposing Friday designation for Halloween celebrations advances

While the bill wouldn't change the date of Halloween itself, it would recognize a designated day for Halloween celebrations.
22 hours ago
Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City, speaks at a press conference about the Great Salt Lake at the ...
Carter Williams. KSL.com

Utah, Salt Lake leaders unveil new plans to improve the struggling Great Salt Lake

State and local leaders are prposing two pieces of legislation to help save the Great Salt Lake amid dropping water level.
22 hours ago
BYU study finds we need to stop watering as much as we are....
Mark Jones

Speaker Wilson says Utah legislature is working hard on water issue

SALT LAKE CITY — Prior to the start of the 2023 Utah Legislative Session, it seemed like water would be a popular topic throughout the 45-day session. And a week into the session, that appears to be the case.  House speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) joined Inside Sources hosted by Maura Carabello and Taylor Morgan to […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
Gov. Herbert: It’s time for candidates to “step up” on tax reform