Utah State Trust Fund, Amendment B (2008)

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The Utah State Trust Fund, Amendment B appeared on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Utah. It was one of five proposed constitutional amendments the Utah Constitution that were legislatively-referred to the ballot by the Utah State Legislature.

Election results

See also 2008 ballot measure election results

These results are based on the Elections Division of Utah.[1]

Utah Amendment B (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 527,873 66.04%
No271,50433.96%

Specific Provisions

The amendment enacted the following provisions:

  • Provides that a permanent state trust fund includes money and assets given to the fund under any provision of law.

Supporters

The chief sponsor of the measure in the Utah senate was Lyle Hillyard. The assembly sponsor was Wayne Harper.

Arguments in Support

The Utah Taxpayers Association is recommending a “yes” vote on Amendment B for these reasons:

  • Severance tax revenues are extremely volatile (see accompanying graph), and depositing these revenues into a trust fund makes more sense than appropriating these revenues for annual ongoing government expenditures.
  • As economic assets such as oil, gas, and minerals are permanently depleted, permanent trust fund reserves take their place.
  • Since severance tax revenues will eventually diminish and disappear, depositing these revenues into a trust fund makes more sense than appropriating these revenues for ongoing general government expenditures that will never diminish.

Opposition

None yet identified.

Taxpayer Perspective

Constitutional Amendment B, the Utah State Trust Fund Amendment, allows the permanent state trust fund set up for the 1998 tobacco settlement to receive other forms of money, including severance tax revenues gained from natural resource extraction. Three-fourths of the legislature and the governor must agree to spend money from this trust fund, and expanding the scope of the fund could provide a “rainy day” account that prevents future tax hikes during tight budgetary times.[2]

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