Saturday, July 7, 2018

Why voters Should Not vote for the Fuel Tax Shell Game

 Re: raising state fuel tax by 33% and expecting it to go toward education:

While you can use sales tax money in any of 3 areas, Transportation, Public Ed and Higher Ed,

Education money from Income Tax is limited by state constitution to only Public Ed and Higher Ed.

Fuel Tax money is limited by the State Constitution to Transportation.

To advertise that you are going to move money around so you are using transportation only money somewhere else violates at minimum the intent of the Utah Constitution.

The other issue with this proposed shell game is transportation related sales tax should go to transportation - based on the same section of the state constitution.

With more fuel tax, they think they are going to reduce the amount of sales tax being invested on roads and move that to higher ed and move more higher ed education money to public ed.

At some point you are either directly violating the Utah Constitution or at minimum violating the intent.

Is asking the voters to agree to this scheme supposed to let the Utah Legislature and the Governor off the hook with following the State Constitution?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_game#/media/File:Conjurer_Bosch.jpg

See also:
Utah State Constitution, Art XXIII Sec. 5
https://le.utah.gov/xcode/ArticleXIII/Article_XIII,_Section_5.html?v=UC_AXIII_S5_1800010118000101

Income Tax only for Public Ed and Higher Ed:
5)    All revenue from taxes on intangible property or from a tax on income shall be used to support the systems of public education and higher education as defined in Article X, Section 2.

Fuel tax and transportation related sales tax only for Transportation:
(6)    Proceeds from fees, taxes, and other charges related to the operation of motor vehicles on public highways and proceeds from an excise tax on liquid motor fuel used to propel those motor vehicles shall be used for: (a)    statutory refunds and adjustments and costs of collection and administration; (b)    the construction, maintenance, and repair of State and local roads, including payment for property taken for or damaged by rights-of-way and for associated administrative costs; (c)    driver education; (d)    enforcement of state motor vehicle and traffic laws; and (e)    the payment of the principal of and interest on any obligation of the State or a city or county, issued for any of the purposes set forth in Subsection (6)(b) and to which any of the fees, taxes, or other charges described in this Subsection (6) have been pledged, including any paid to the State or a city or county, as provided by statute.