Members of the Wasatch County Republican Party gathered on Saturday for their annual Lincolns Day breakfast fundraiser at Soldier Hollow. Among those invited to speak included state legislators representing the county, Senator Ron Winterton and Representative Tim Quinn.
Representative Quinn said that he was only running two bills this session. One bill came about in response to the October 19th crash on US 40 that resulted in the death of six people. The crash happened when a dump truck driver while under the influence crossed the median and caused the accident. The legislation Representative Quinn proposes would require employers to enter into a contract to monitor the driving record of each employee required to have a CDL as a condition of employment.
The other bill Representative Quinn is running regards tax reform.
“We do not have a revenue problem in the state of Utah, we do have a revenue sourcing problem in the state of Utah," Quinn continued. "The state of Utah is unique in a lot of ways but in one way we commit that 100% of our income tax will be spent on education. Everything else in government, everything else that we do, roads, prisons, courts, Medicaid expansion everything that we do is based on sales tax primarily. In the general fund, that’s where we run a serious deficit. We have money in the education fund we do not have money in the general fund.”
Representative Quinn says that his bill looks to broaden the base and lower the rate.
“We will be trying to expand sales tax on services in the state of Utah," Quinn explained. "We have tried to hit everyone equally. We have tried to spread the pain out equally and then we are lowering the sales tax rate. Coupled with that we are lowering the income tax rate as well. This will be not revenue neutral, it’ll be a tax cut. The governor spoke at our state of the state and anticipates a $225 million tax cut, Speaker Wilson has said a $225 million tax cut. The revenue numbers came back yesterday I’m not sure what the number will be but there will be a tax cut, this will not be a tax increase. 95% of Utahns will pay less as a result of this bill. Several years ago 41% of our revenue came from income tax, 41% of our revenue came from sales tax. Today 52% of our revenue comes from income tax, only 31% comes from sales tax and that disparity is increasing. We know longer buy stuff, we buy services.”
Representative Quinn said that without change the state would be forced to shut down all planned road construction projects in two years. Also, in attendance was Senator Ron Winterton. Senator Winterton is in his first year in the state senate representing District 26. He was assigned as the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Senator Winterton said they received a presentation from Wasatch High Students about vaping.
“I asked the kids after they made their presentation what do you think we ought to do on this? They actually said we need you to be stronger on that," Winterton continued. "I said so we need to make it stiffer? Do we put it with tabaco? Do we put it in specialty shops? They said we want it in specialty shops. Make it harder for the kids to get access to it. This is one of the crises we’re seeing with our youth right now. They get addicted then and then they go onto cigarettes and they think it’s harmless. I don’t think that government should be in our lives but yet we need to make sure that we’re taking precautions that we’ll have our youth around to be able to carry on.”
Senator Winterton said he’s appreciative to receive input from his constituents.
“It’s a great honor again to be able to serve you guys," Winterton said. "I appreciate the input that I get. When we receive something on a bill or something that raises the flag for me and my intern so that we watch those bills.”