Less than a day remaining to force tax overhaul referendum

Local News

Signature-gathering push gains steam with Tuesday deadline

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – On Monday, volunteers across the state worked to reach an ambitious goal: collect 116,000 signatures to put a tax overhaul bill on the ballot in November.

Those collecting signatures say they oppose the massive tax overhaul bill, which was passed in special session by the Utah Legislature in December.

“The one reason you do a referendum is so that we have a voice,” said Matt Johnson, who came Monday to sign his name and decided to sit at the table to volunteer.

“Taxing food is the reason I’m opposed to this,” added Johnson.

The bill, passed in special session and signed by the governor, raises the sales tax on food and gas — and also adds a tax to some service-based businesses for the end consumer. The bill also cuts income tax. It hasn’t gone into law yet, though — and it might not if supporters get the signatures they need. If so, voters in November will get to decide whether they favor the bill.

“All this does, it’s so simple, it stops the bill and allows the people to have a vote in November. That’s all it does, the people want to be listened to,” said Judy Weeks-Rohner, a referendum co-sponsor.

She says volunteers have helped collect 112,000 signatures, with just 4,000 to go, even though the Lieutenant Governor’s Office website reported fewer than 40,000 total signatures gathered as of Monday afternoon.

The deadline is Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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