Regional News: Bipartisan Utah group starts voter referendum to repeal new tax reform package

Former State Rep. Fred Cox, left, Judy Weeks Rohner and Matt Bell file paperwork with Special Assistant Seth Anderson to start signature gathering on an initiative seeking to allow voters to reject the newly-passed tax reform law on Dec. 16, 2019.
/ Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune

By Lee Davidson/ The Salt Lake Tribune

A group headed by a conservative former legislator is attempting to give voters the chance to reject the new tax reform package that passed in a special session last week.

Former Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, filed paperwork Monday with the lieutenant governor’s office to start the process to gather signatures. It potentially could block the bill from taking effect until voters decide whether to repeal it in next November’s general election.

But Cox and supporters face a herculean task: they must gather at least 115,689 signatures by Jan. 21, said Justin Lee, state elections director for the lieutenant governor’s office. The group also declared they will do it without paid signature gatherers.

Others who successfully pushed initiatives recently took a year to gather so many signatures and used paid gatherers.

“Legislators are not listening to the people,” Cox said. “Everyone else I’ve talked to — people I see at stores or work — are opposed to it. That’s the reason I’m running this.”

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