Herbert Skeptical of Dems Education Funding Proposal (Video)

Gov. Gary Herbert and Bryan SchottGov. Gary Herbert says he is open to discussing ways to boost funding for public education, but he’s not sure the proposal being floated by Legislative Democrats is the right path.

 
Right now, income taxes go toward funding both public and higher education, which was a change made in 1996. Previously, income taxes only supported public education. Sen. Jim Dabakis (D-Salt Lake City) wants to take higher education out of that mix.
 
“It’s a healthy discussion for us to have,” said Herbert. “But, making that change won’t create more money. The general fund and income tax combined is still the same number of dollars. How are you going to slice up that pie?”
 
 

 
Herbert also notes that before the change was made in 1996, Utah was still at the bottom of public education funding, which is a problem that persists today. 
 
Democrats also are targeting the flat tax implemented by Herbert’s predecessor, Gov. Jon Huntsman, saying that has drained millions of dollars away from public education. Herbert takes great exception to that assertion, saying it’s one of the reasons Utah’s economy is flourishing now.
 
“The flat tax put in a good foundation for us to have tax competitiveness. We ought not to forget that we have neighbors to the north and south that have no income tax at all, and we have to compete in this area for business,” says Herbert. “So, having a flatter tax and a competitive tax rate is helpful for growing businesses and attracting businesses. It’s clearly worked. We’re the best performing economy in America today. We should, in fact, praise Gov. Jon Huntsman for going through the tax reform and getting us to that point.”
 
Herbert also discusses his upcoming State of the State address, his high approval ratings, the push to collect sales taxes on online purchases and why Americans seem so angry at Congress.