Ballot initiative aims to reduce class sizes and improve education in Utah

The Our Schools Now campaign is a ballot initiative effort that would put a question on the ballot in November 2018 asking Utahns if they would raise their own taxes if they could be sure that money went directly to education, with a primary goal of reducing class sizes and improving education turnouts in Utah. The initiative is backed by some high-profile business community members as well as long-time education advocates in the state.

This past Tuesday the campaign made it official, filing the paperwork with the Lieutenant Governor’s office to begin the ballot initiative process. This will begin with public hearings and the collection of 113,000 signatures from residents in at least 26 of Utah’s 29 Senate districts.

On <a href=”″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s For the People program on Tuesday</a>, Our Schools Now chairman Bob Marquardt told host Jason Williams what has changed from the original proposal of the initiative and what was unveiled this week.

“The major change was we started out talking about a 7/8th of a percent increase in the income tax, which would raise $750 million. Over the past five months since we announced the intent to do this we’ve been out gathering input from a lot of different groups and got a lot of feedback that it was just too big of an increase in the income tax. We got a lot of encouragement. Some said we should switch entirely to the sales tax and that would be easier,” said Marquardt.

Ultimately, they settled on a compromise that would propose a half-a-percent increase in the income tax and a half-a-percent increase in the sales tax which will raise about $700 million. It would be implemented and phased in over three years instead of having it all hit in one year.

For more information residents are encouraged to visit the website <a href=”” target=”_blank”></a>

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