With the approval of Proposition 1 (Gas Tax) the combined state and local sales tax in San Juan County will increase from 5.95% to 6.20% countywide, in some cities it will increase to almost 7%– a change that will increase taxes in San Juan by $40 per person and $160 for an average family of four every year. This could mean the difference between a week or more of groceries for many families.
That doesn’t sound too bad when considered separately, these tax increases may not sound like much, but for lower-income and middle-class families, every dollar counts and higher local sales taxes would only make their financial struggles worse.
Like the gas tax increase, this sales tax will fall hardest on those who have little or nothing left at the end of the month. According to the Utah Taxpayers Association, the average Utahns already pay $720 in sales taxes every year and $3,304 in combined state and local taxes. .
This tax was passed in 10 Utah counties, but just in San Juan County alone it will mean an increase of $582,000 dollars taken out of the checkbooks of county residents according to the state’s own analysis.
How much more can the economy in San Juan County take?
How much more can the county citizens bare in taxes to fund numerous government programs?
Here are just a few of the programs that citizens are forced to pay for:
- a struggling county hospital
- All tax paying citizens pay $2,389.98 dollars per student in the San Juan County school district
- They fund a $12 million dollar budget for the county government
- The fund various local city government budgets
- increased property taxes, and much more
I haven’t even listed all the federal foreign aid, grants, and subsidy programs like the USDA conservation reserve program or CRP.
This program is where farmers are paid by the federal government to only do certain things with their land. From 1995 to 2012 the federal government paid over $24 million in tax money to CRP participants in San Juan County. San Juan County was ranked 2 in the state for receiving 21.1% of the funds for Utah. Utah was ranked 34 for receiving $114,648,718 tax dollars in subsidies. Nation wide this program paid out $292,548,048,468 between 1995 and 2012.
Federal foreign aid
“In fact, the U.S. sent approximately $37,680,000,000 overseas in 2012 for foreign aid, according to Finance Degree Center, a website dedicated to finance education.”
This financial burden falls not only on Utah citizens but all the tax payers in the United States.
One of the biggest issues we have in San Juan County is the lack of private property that can be used to build a sound economic base on. The majority of the land in San Juan County (approx. 72%) is under the administration of different federal agencies and tribal agencies.
Land ownership/administration within San Juan County is broken down as follows (acres, % of total): BLM 2,074,247, 41%; Indian Reservation 1,220,846, 23%; National Parks Service 587,375, 10%; U.S.F.S 450,549, 9%; State of Utah 406,415, 8%; Private 406,367, 8%, and Private Indian Trust Funds 25,117, 1%. With no private property for an economic base and the loss of the uranium, and oil and gas industries we cannot afford more taxes in San Juan County.
Despite all of this the majority of the citizens in San Juan County and 9 other Utah counties voted either intentionally or ignorantly to pass another tax – the Gas Tax.
This new tax along with all the rest is nothing more than legalized theft and I truly believe as with all injustice there will come a day when mercy and justice must be satisfied. We must stop
kidding ourselves that all this is okay. Often people tell me that “if we don’t get our share someone else will take it”. Our share of what? Our share consists of something we neither earned or deserve and is something someone else earned through their own efforts. When we take something that doesn’t belong to us it is called theft. The fact is that theft is theft no matter how you justify it or even if you pass a law or a tax to make it legal it is still theft.
All of us would agree that there is a need for taxes and there is a fine line for government to follow when establishing taxes. Unfortunately, those constitutional guide lines were removed with the passing of the Revenue Act of 1913.
“Our current system is based on the original tax code of 1913, which consisted of the Sixteenth Amendment – which effectively overruled an 1895 Supreme Court ruling that declared a previous attempt at a federal income tax system to be unconstitutional – See more at: “
As a result we have been subject to 102 years of miss guiding information and anti-constitutional indoctrination when it comes to taxes and the legality of those taxes. It is our responsibility and our moral obligation as citizens to educate ourselves on this issue and not just demand our share before someone else takes it. With every tax there is a cause and effect of those things that are seen and not seen.
Where are the Sons of Liberty today?