— 1. What did you do to help with the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum? —
My fight against the tax referendum started well before it was even introduced. I ran on a promise to my constituents of not raising taxes. And I vigorously opposed multiple proposals for tax reform that went against the 10 Golden Rules of Effective Taxation found in “Rich States, Poor States,” co-authored by Stephen Moore, the chief economist on my campaign advisory team.
Sometimes a legislator’s best work is done in hallways or between meetings, and I did my best to raise concerns about the bill’s problems with my colleagues.
Next, I voted against the bill. Then, I signed the referendum. Then, I allowed petitioning to happen alongside my campaign events where I knew people would be gathered.
Finally, I voted to repeal.
— 2. What is your position of taxes on food and gasoline? —
Taxes on food and gasoline are some of the most regressive there are, that makes them generally bad policy. I support reasonable taxes on gasoline to fund our transportation infrastructure, however, I support moving to a better way of funding roads, as we are moving more toward alternative-energy vehicles and our fuel efficiency is outpacing the traditional funding model.
I fundamentally oppose taxing food. It is an immoral, regressive tax. There are some things that Caesar should not be able to touch.
— 3. What if any taxes would you implement on services and why? —
Any tax policy should follow the Golden Rules of Effective Taxation, they should be fairly applied to businesses that meet objective standards and clearly defined categories, so government doesn’t choose winners and losers. It should not be regressive or too progressive. It should mitigate impacts on business to business transactions. And always, new tax frameworks should not be for the purpose of seeking new revenues and should be accompanied by spending cuts.
— 4. Many Utahns felt that after the town halls and committee meetings that the legislative tax task force held throughout 2019 that their concerns were not heard and that special interests wielded too much influence. On the other hand, many legislators felt that the people didn’t understand the issue or the solutions that they put forth. If elected, how would you respond to the concerns and issues that your constituents bring to you and how would you educate them on the issues you are dealing with? —
Both positions are probably true for some people. Clearly, there were opponents to the bill who absolutely knew what they were talking about, while some didn’t. There were special interests that may have influenced some legislators and not others. I would hope that people don’t make blanket assumptions about Legislators or The People.
I always wish more people were interested in more policies that come before the Legislature. I do my best to listen to people who are earnestly questioning and sharing the impact a piece of legislation will have on them.
Policies that have significant impacts on people’s lives should have the most light of day, the best opportunity for public input, and thorough vetting and deliberation among legislators prior to becoming law.
— 5. Are you willing to vote against bills that legislative leadership wants you to support even when threatened with losing coveted committee positions, having your legislation held hostage, etc? Explain —
I am and I have.
As a member of the Higher Education Appropriations Committee, I asked the tough questions about expenses and escalating costs. The next year, I was reassigned, and it was strongly hinted to me that it was because I made certain edu-crats uncomfortable.
— 6. Are you in favor of the Utah School Income Tax Constitutional Amendment that will be voted on in November? Why or not? —
I am in favor of it. It is the single largest budgetary earmark in any state budget in any state. I believe that all state revenues should be equally available for state legislators to prioritize according to the needs of the state. However, the allowance of other items to be funded by state income tax under the proposed Constitutional Amendment is an improvement that provides additional budgetary flexibility. I do not fear the Legislature underfunding education simply because the earmark is removed.
— 7. Name one reason you are the best candidate for the position you signed for. —
I have lived in the 4th Congressional District for 25 years. I raised a family here, and even started a school here. I have been a patriot-activist in my community my whole adult life and represented part of the district in the Utah state Legislature. My roots go deep in this community, but some of the people seeking this office are not and do not live in the district or have a history of serving it. Many people who go to Washington lose sight of the people they’re supposed to be serving – which is much easier to do when someone isn’t deeply connected with the community.
I have a large grassroots organization and I share the values of the majority of the district, which the current representative doesn’t.
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