FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2019
Salt Lake City, UT – Today, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee heard H.B. 441, Tax Equalization and Reduction Act. Lauren Simpson, policy director for Alliance for a Better Utah, issued the following statement on the bill and the meeting:
“Taxes create essential revenue for programs and services we all use, strengthening our communities. Tax restructuring is never easy, but we appreciate the efforts of Governor Herbert and the Legislature for taking this on. We hope they will reconsider the tax on healthcare premiums and the income tax cut in order to ensure Utahns can access healthcare and that our children are receiving quality education.
“Overall, this is a good bill. We appreciate the efforts the Utah Legislature is making to spread the sales tax out evenly and fairly. Sustainable revenue sources are imperative to the healthy future of our state.
“However, we don’t believe this tax reform should be revenue neutral. As legislators have noted, a revenue-neutral bill is a political consideration, not an economic one. Given the crisis our schools are facing with education funding, the income tax cut seems excessive.
“We are also concerned about the newly proposed tax on health insurance premiums which could drive up costs of healthcare for some families and could disproportionately impact low-income households. In particular, individuals and families who were forced to remain on the healthcare exchange when the Legislature repealed and replaced Prop 3 may find this increased cost impossible to afford and may go uninsured.”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.