Governor pledges to protect property rights |

Governor pledges to protect property rights


Former real estate broker Governor Gary Herbert told attendees to the CCIM | NAIOP Utah Commercial Real Estate Symposium Tuesday at the downtown Hilton in Salt Lake City that private property rights were the foundation for all commerce that enables a free market system and the existence of capitalism.

Despite his decades of experience in real estate, Herbert said very little specific to the industry and gave a standard stump speech as he works toward re-election in November.

"I believe the thing I can do to most help the impoverished is to build the economy so they can find work," he said. "Everything I do, every decision I make, every policy is looked at through the prism of ‘does it help the economy?’"

He pledged to support natural resource exploration and extraction in the rural counties.

"I reject the notion that you can’t be good stewards of the Earth and be environmentally sensitive and develop your natural resources," he said.

Utah is committed to supporting business, and the best way to do that is for government to get out of the way and not inhibit "creativity" and not impact "your bottom line," he said.

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That’s why this is not a good year to raise taxes even on tobacco products, he told the Realtors.

"It would take the flickering flame of recovery and smother it with the damp blanket of taxes," he said.

He pledged less government, saying more study is needed about the Salt Lake Valley’s sub-standard air quality, more time is needed to test alternatives to health care reform such as the Utah Health Exchange, and he said that private philanthropy is superior to government welfare.

"It’s easy to say, ‘I see a problem, I want the government to fix it.’ It’s an impulse we need to reject," he said.

Herbert called the budget cuts anticipated this year by the Utah Legislature "pruning back the rose bush."

"We will not be a debtor state," he said.

Herbert said he hopes to make Utah an energy exporter, and believes the state is well positioned to recover economically.

He also added that he thought ethics reform was unnecessary.

"I’ve worked with virtually every (elected official) except for a handful of instances, I haven’t seen anybody act in an inappropriate manner," he said.