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Referendum filed to overturn tax reform bill

The Utah State Capitol building, file photo. Credit: Paul Nelson, KSL Newsradio

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A referendum has been filed to overturn Utah’s new tax reform bill. The movement was organized on Facebook by former Republican lawmaker Fred Cox.

According to Cox, the number of people interested in volunteering for the movement is growing fast.

“Last night I thought, ‘oh, there’s eight-hundred, nine-hundred, one-thousand,'” he said. “I woke up this morning and there was fifteen-hundred and [now] there’s already two-thousand.”

Cox says it’s reassuring to see so many people support overturning the new bill and he doesn’t plan on hiring any help to go door-to-door.

“We don’t need paid signature gatherers, we don’t really want the paid signature gatherers on this,” he says. “This is grassroots.”

Interestingly, the people pledging support are coming from all different political backgrounds.

“They’re coming from everywhere,” says Cox. “We’re inviting the very liberal and the very conservative.”

The group has until January 21 to gather around 116,000 signatures in opposition of the bill to get the issue on the November 2020 ballot.

With growing support, Cox considers that goal to be attainable.

“We are getting them from all aspects,” he says.

The official paperwork was filed Monday with the lieutenant governor’s office.

“We have not missed the deadline,” explains Cox. “We submitted with at least 24 hours to spare.”

One concern for the group may be acquiring the necessary funds to conduct such a large scale movement.

“We’ve got a number of people that have offered to help with the printing costs, which is what will be costly,” says Cox.

“If this had been a five page bill it would have been a lot cheaper, but the fact that it’s over two-hundred pages [means] it’s going to be more money.”