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EDlection 2018: Utah Voters Reject Gasoline Tax Intended to Increase Ed Spending

By Laura Fay | November 7, 2018

EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

Utah voters rejected a 10 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax to help fund education Tuesday, with 66 percent of voters saying “no” to the ballot proposition, according to state election results

The Question 1 vote was nonbinding, but lawmakers said they would implement the tax if it was approved. The tax would have funded transportation projects and allowed an equivalent amount from the general fund to go to education. The gas tax in Utah is currently little more than 20 cents per gallon, which places it 25th in the nation, but the increase would have moved it into the top 10 states, according to The Park Record. The added cost for the average driver was estimated at $4 per month.

The question got on the ballot as part of a compromise between the state legislature and an organization called Our Schools Now, whose ultimate goal is to generate an additional $700 million for Utah schools.

Some voters may have been confused because profits from fuel taxes typically don’t go to education and because the question was nonbinding, Austin Cox, Question 1’s campaign manager, told KSL.com.

Utah spends the least of all 50 states on education, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics. See estimates for how much each school would have received in additional funding here.

EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

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