Strong citizen support of petition leads to tax reform law repeal

A statewide citizen-led petition drive, including a strong effort in San Juan County, has led to the repeal of a controversial tax reform law.  

After opponents of the law submitted petitions with an estimated 152,000 signatures, legislative leaders and Governor Gary Herbert announced on January 23 that the law would be repealed.

The comprehensive tax reform bill passed in December, 2019.  It was controversial in several respects, including an increase in the sales tax on food and increased transportation taxes.

State Representative Phil Lyman argued that while the bill decreased taxes overall, it put an added burden on rural Utahns. 

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A number of San Juan County residents, led by Blanding City Councilman Logan Monson, helped organize the local petition drive. 

They include Kim Henderson, Linda Plummer, CallieJo Christensen, Jason Nay, Cheryl Bowers, Kelly Green, Meagan Butler, and Dashelle Holliday.

The response was strong throughout the state. While the organizers needed 116,000 signatures to place the item on a statewide ballot, they secured an estimated 152,000.

After the announcement that the bill would be repealed, county clerks stopped the painstaking process of verifying signatures on the petitions.

Monson was pleased with the entire process, saying,  “No big money! No paid volunteers! Citizen led, citizen driven, citizen donations to pay for printing our packets! We attempted what they said was impossible and the citizens answered the challenge!”

“We put things aside and worked really hard together. The government leaders watched and eventually came to an understanding that it wasn’t what the people wanted. The bill will more than likely be repealed completely.” 

“I have confidence that the legislature will take this grassroots effort into consideration while coming up with something else,” added Monson. 

“While I trust they won’t make the same mistake, it’s important to follow and make sure little parts of this bill don’t slowly make their way into other bills.”

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