CEDAR CITY — Libertarian candidate Barry Short is running for Utah House District 72 and seeks to reduce taxes and eliminate government activities that do not support citizens at the local level.
House District 72 includes the Iron County area and is presently represented by incumbent Republican Rep. John Westwood.
Supporting the county
For his campaign, Short said his focus is on the incumbent’s voting record and how he spent the last two years as a member of the Legislature. Westwood’s time did not reflect the community’s values, Short said, and didn’t prove him to be an advocate for Iron County.
“He has supported things that take money out of the county rather than support things that bring money in, or better yet, leave money in the county with the people who earned it to begin with,” Short said.
An example Short used was state support of the 2014 House Bill 356 entitled New Convention Facility Development Incentive provisions.
The bill establishes $75 million in tax credit to build a convention center hotel near the Salt Palace Hotel in Salt Lake City. The bill passed during the 2014 general session.
The amount of money Utah households are taxed under the terms of the law is estimated at about $34 to $40 each annually and the idea to support a bill that has nothing to do with Iron County is unnecessary, Short said.
The use of tax subsidies are unnecessary, Short said.
“We shouldn’t need tax subsidy money in the first place,” he said. “If building that hotel with additional business meeting rooms does in fact bring more business you would have hotel companies lining up and wanting to build it whether or not they get a tax break.”
If $75 million was placed on a table, Short said, citizens would more likely choose other ways to spend it than give it to a hotel developer.
“I think anything that’s done at the local level is better than at the state and federal level,” Short said. “I’d like to see it stay here. There are a lot of good ways to utilize money. Maybe just let everyone keep their money,” he said. “Nothing says we have to keep taxing people.”
It is important know what government is doing, Short said, because secrecy is unacceptable in every form.
The availability of police and courts for protection as well as the need and right to a jury trial are important, he said.
“The Legislature does not have a right to take that away from you,” Short said.
No special interest money
Short said he did not accept special interest money into his campaign and encouraged others to see candidates’ financial disclosures to see where other elected representatives received money.
“We need somebody who will represent the people here in Iron County, not statewide or out of state interests that are financing the campaign,” he said. “That’s really important, certainly.”
For more information on Short and where he stands on the issues, visit his website.
Early voting began Oct 21 and goes through Oct. 31. The general election is Nov. 4.
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