The attacks between Utah Congressman Jim Matheson and opponent Mia Love continued Monday, with the incumbent holding a news conference to criticize the Saratoga Springs Mayor’s previous votes to raise taxes. But as Charlotte Duren reports, Love’s supporters held a rally the same day to blast what they call lies being generated by Matheson’s campaign about their city.
Speaking at his campaign headquarters in West Jordan, six-term Congressman Jim Matheson continued to criticize opponent Mia Love’s record, noting the property tax hikes passed by her and the Saratoga Springs city council from 2008 through 2010. He says he fears if sent to Washington, she’ll do the same.
"I’m not picking on the residents of Saratoga Springs I am suggesting that my opponent has voted to raise taxes 116% one year, 21% the next year, and 13% the next year. And I don’t think most Utah tax payers want their property taxes going up by that amount."
Matheson says during his time in Congress he has worked to cut taxes and cap spending, and says updates need to be made to the tax code.
"I think we extend the tax cuts for now but we also have to take a hard look at reforming both of our individual and corporate tax codes to create what I think will be a more robust tax code in terms of confidence of the American people, transparency, and I think that will put us on the road for better economic growth and will help with the deficit."
Just an hour later a group of Saratoga Springs residents and city council members held a rally in response to Matheson's campaign, saying they’ve had enough of what they are calling untruths made by Matheson about their city's finances as well as its crime rate.
"How can he represent me if he is tearing my city down, that effects my children, that effects their future, and I am mad," says Ann Harrison, one of the more than 20 Saratoga Springs residents who showed up waving signs with messages like, “We love our city” and “Don’t use us, Matheson.” City Councilman Michael McOmber says Matheson’s claims that Saratoga Springs has a higher tax rate than surrounding communities are being taken out of context.
"He likes to say 'Herriman has lower tax rates' but they have unified fire and unified police that are tax separately. But in Saratoga springs we are taxed all under one umbrella so start combining all the taxes the people of Herriman pay and lets start talking numbers."
McOmber says the City Council and Love were forced to increase property taxes as well as make cuts in the city’s budget to offset revenue shortfalls that occurred during the housing market crash.