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Letter to the Editor: Vote no on Initiative 1


Initiative 1 is a Pig � with lipstick!

This November, Utahns will decide the fate of Initiative 1, the so-called "open space" initiative. This Initiative is dressed up to look like motherhood and apple pie, but in reality it is a pig - with lipstick. Proportionally, it has more pork than the federal budget and will likely have as many strings as any federal matching program.

It is without a doubt the most deceptive initiative to come along in years. Most initiative signers we have contacted did not know the measure contained a tax increase. Paid signature gatherers simply asked shoppers at the grocery store if they would like to show their support for open space, clean air, and clean water by signing a petition.

Most petition signers and many of the prominent initiative supporters we talked to did not know that $30 million of the $150 million will not be spent for open space at all, but for convention centers, local rec centers, and various types of municipal buildings. Most did not know that another $45 million on top of the $150 million will go to pay interest on the debt created by Initiative 1.

When the Lt. Governor declared that the initiative failed to qualify for the ballot, the Utah Supreme Court intervened and ordered election clerks in Cache and Utah Counties to count the signatures of signers who were clearly not registered voters! Had these signers attempted to vote, their provisional ballots would have been disqualified.

Initiative 1 will increase state debt by a whopping $150 million - using up most of the remaining $195 million currently available under the state's statutory bonding cap which is desperately needed for university buildings and highways. The initiative will also raise sales taxes by $15 million per year in a state whose total tax and fee burden is already third highest in the nation!

Before voting on Initiative 1, voters need to know the details behind this "feel good" proposal.

What you need to know about Initiative 1.

•Who will determine how Initiative 1 revenues are spent? Hint: it's not the governor or the legislature.

•Where will the money be spent? Hint: Think pork.

•What accountability problems does Initiative 1 have?

•How should open space preservation be funded?

•Who is most impacted by sales tax increases?

•Are cities already addressing the issue of open space preservation?

•What are the consequences if Initiative 1 passes?

Visit to find out.

What you need to know about efforts to improve Utah's environmental quality.

•Has Utah's air and water quality improved or worsened in the past 10 years?

•How much is Utah already spending to protect the environment and improve air and water quality?

•How much of Utah is already owned by the government and largely off-limits to development?

Visit find out.

Who Opposes Initiative 1?

Visit to see a list of:

•State legislators opposing Initiative 1

•Local government officials opposing Initiative 1

•Community leaders opposing Initiative 1

•Organizations opposing Initiative 1

This list continues to grow as more and more people find out that Initiative 1 is a "feel good" proposal that is severely flawed.

Initiative 1 is one of the worst tax proposal to surface in years. Utah taxpayers should vote no.

Help defeat Initiative 1.

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