CACHE VALLEY – The 2020 Utah legislative session is set to get underway in less than a week.
To help prepare for the session, Rep. Casey Snider, R-District 5, hosted town halls in every community in his district.
The number one concern: “People are worried about the impact of tax reform,” Snider said. They want to know “how we are going to pay for some of the things going forward such as education and transportation.”
Tax reform bill (SB 2001) was passed in a special legislative session in December 2019. Since then, it has generated concern, confusion and now a challenge by Utah voters to possibly repeal the law.
Because the bill failed to pass by at least two-thirds of the legislature, voters can challenge the law with a statewide referendum.
Signatures on a petition are being verified by county clerks throughout the state and if the petition reaches the required threshold, the new tax law would go on a ballot in 2020 for voters to approve or repeal.
Republican leaders on Utah’s Capitol Hill insist the reform efforts are necessary to address structural imbalances that pay for essential government services.
Snider voted in favor of the bill. In hindsight, he said he “could have communicated better or articulated better the need to do something.”
“It’s a complex issue,” Snider added. “I think that even if you’re paying attention when you have a bill of significant size and has the type of scope that ours did, it is easy to maybe miss pieces of information here or there.”
“Some of the benefits of this bill are also getting drowned out by some of the parts that people don’t like and that is an unfortunate thing from my perspective,” he said.
Snider said he looks forward to the upcoming session and being able to work to reduce the size and scope of government spending.
“My goal is to limit whatever negative consequences are doled out by the state, limit the size of government and create or vote on things that are going to bring the most value to the most amount of people,” he said.
Snider said he will specifically focus on “decreasing some of the regulatory hurdles that impact our county and other counties. We have a few agencies that I don’t feel have been fairly applying the laws and standards they have been tasked with. Whatever I can do to sort of rein that in and give people options and make improvement to our quality of life and environment, but at the same time, doing it in a way that is justifiable by science.”
The 2020 Utah Legislative Session begins Monday, January 27.