Check out agenda (below) for the Economic Development Joint Appropriations Subcommittee and look at the organizations seeking state appropriations (your tax money). You will note they include museums, the arts, an ice skating facility, libraries, the humanities, etc.
Are these truly economic development projects or are they examples of “pork barrel” spending masquerading as economic development?
Do any of these groups already receive public (tax) subsidies through RAP taxes, county taxes, city taxes, special district taxes, etc.? If so, why are they asking for still more taxpayer funding?
What makes some special interests so “special” that they deserve taxpayer subsidies while other organizations that contribute equally or even more to economic development must rely on their own resources and pay taxes to subsidize the “lucky few?”
Should state taxes paid by private companies and citizens be used to subsidize tax exempt, government enterprises such as convention centers which often compete with private, taxpaying businesses?
If the state has excess funds, would it make sense to allocate them to the core functions of government such as transportation and public safety rather than to museums and ice rinks?
If core government functions don’t need the excess funds, then should the state spend them or should the funds be returned to the taxpayers through lower spending and reduced taxes?
Is it ever appropriate for the state to redistribute money from one group to another under the guise of economic development?
Whatever you decide on the above questions, just remember that a small number of people will be present in this subcommittee meeting on Monday afternoon. Most, if not all, will be there to support funding these “economic development” projects because it is much easier to get hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars through this redistribution process than by earning them one dollar at a time.
If you would like to contact subcommittee members and let them know where you stand on these spending proposals, contact info can be found for Davis County legislators in the Davis County [phone] directory yellow pages under Government – State – Elected Officials. Contact information for all senators and representatives can be found at:
House Switchboard: 538-1029; Senate Switchboard: 538-1035
TO: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT JOINT APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
FROM: Sen. L. Alma Mansell, Co-Chair and Rep. Craig W. Buttars, Co-Chair
RE: COMMITTEE MEETING
DATE: Monday, January 30, 2006
TIME: 2:00 p.m.
PLACE: Room W140, West Office Building, State Capitol Building Complex
2. Analyst Budget Presentation and Agency Response 2:00 to 2:40
Governor’s Office of Economic Development - Tourism Development (Leigh Von Der Esch)
3. Requests for Appropriations
Snow College Custom Fit Nursing Initiative (Rep. Painter) 2:40 to 2:45
Treehouse Museum (Rep. Dee) 2:45 to 2:50
Conservation of State Art Works (Sen. Eastman) 2:50 to 2:55
Davis County Conference Center (Sen. Eastman) 2:55 to 3:00
Children’s Museum (Sen. Eastman) 3:00 to 3:05
Eccles Ice Center (Rep. Buttars) 3:05 to 3:10
Art Grants (Rep. Urquhart) 3:10 to 3:15
Kimball Art Center (Rep. Ure) 3:15 to 3:20
Museum Services Grants (Rep. Ferry) 3:20 to 3:25
Individual Development Accounts Fund (Rep. Clark) 3:25 to 3:30
Motion Picture Incentive Funding (Sen. Knudsen) 3:30 to 3:35
The Leonardo (Sen. Evans) 3:35 to 3:40
Italians in Utah (Sen. Waddoups) 3:40 to 3:45
Humanities Grants (Rep Allen) 3:45 to 3:50
Library Grants (Rep Noel) 3:50 to 3:55
Tourism Marketing Performance Fund (Sen. Jackson) 3:55 to 4:00
4. Final Voting
5. Other Committee Busines
Sen. Al Mansell, Co-Chairman, Rep. Craig Buttars, Co-Chairman, Sen. Dan Eastman, Sen. Scott McCoy, Rep. Jeff Alexander, Rep. Patrick Painter, Rep. Brad Dee, Rep. Jackie Biskupski
Dr. Andrea Wilko, Fiscal Analyst
Juliette Tennert, Fiscal Analyst
Jennifer Eyring, Secretary
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing auxiliary communicative aids and services for these meetings should call Cassandra Bauman at 538-1032, giving her at least 24 hours notice or the best notice practicable.
This Alert was prepared by Ronald Mortensen a co-founder of CitizensForTaxFairness.org, a Davis County citizens’ organization