Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Voters will decide if Utah Tax Commission should be partisan

Amendment would change constitution to no longer require Democrats on board.

First Published Mar 13 2014 09:08 am • Last Updated Mar 15 2014 10:42 pm

Utah voters will soon decide whether to erase a requirement in the Utah Constitution that at least some Democrats must be appointed to the Utah State Tax Commission.

The House voted 66-5 to pass SJR7. It proposes a constitutional amendment that has passed the House and Senate by two-thirds majorities, and will go to voters this fall.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Democrats in the House supported the amendment, while Democrats in the Senate fought it.

Currently, the constitution requires that no more than two of the commission’s four members come from the same political party.

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, chairman of the Utah Democratic Party, said in earlier debate that he feels Republicans are trying to get rid of Democrats on the commission.

"Rather than increase diversity and differences of opinion, this will indeed narrow the different opinions and points of view," he said. "It is clearly a political decision to take the diversity away."

But Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, treasurer of the party, told the House Thursday that he supports the measure and feels some positions should be non-partisan, which is why he also voted against making school board elections partisan.

"It is just good public policy to have the most qualified individuals serve on the state tax commission," he said.

Rep. Dean Sanpei, R-Provo, House sponsor of the amendment, said the current partisan requirement "restricts the pool of qualified applicants" for positions that require technical, specific training. He said the change would "ensure that the most qualified individuals can be chosen, regardless of party affiliation."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.