"Utahns are ready to increase their investment in students and teachers," campaign manager Austin Cox said in a statement. "Our Schools Now gives them an opportunity to do so."
A recent Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found that a majority 57 percent of Utah voters support the initiative. If enacted, the initiative would increase Utah's income tax from 5 percent to 5.45 percent and sales tax from 4.7 percent to 5.15 percent over a period of three years.
Campaign committee member Bob Marquardt told The Salt Lake Tribune last week that the changes were being considered to mitigate the discrepancy between the budget office's estimate and Our Schools Now's $700 million target.
"It's confusing," Marquardt said of the calculations that produced the $865 million figure. "We're not really looking forward to starting the campaign on a confusing note."
Our Schools Now plans to begin gathering signatures in mid-August. To qualify for the ballot, organizers must secure more than 113,000 signatures from registered voters in at least 26 of Utah's 29 Senate districts.
The new, smaller tax increases are still estimated by the campaign to generate roughly $700 million annually, or an additional $1,000 for each public school student in Utah.
"It's time to increase our investment in Utah classrooms so that we can improve student achievement in Utah," campaign co-chair Gail Miller said in a prepared statement. "We are more confident than ever Our Schools Now will be successful in next year's elections."