Proposed income tax cut doubled as ‘Santa’ and ‘The Grinch’ protest the Utah legislature’s tax overhaul bill

This story originally appeared at Fox13.com. Read it in its entirety here.

SALT LAKE CITY — House Speaker Brad Wilson proposed doubling the income tax cut to Utahns to $160 million under a new version of a massive tax overhaul bill.

In an interview with FOX 13 on Friday, the Speaker said the new money comes from revenue estimates to the state and budget cuts. Middle-class families mostly benefit, but the Speaker also said the proposed income tax cut would be expanded to include single people and “dual-filers.”

“A family of four that makes about 60 thousand a year would be $400 to $450 a year in lower taxes paid to the state even though they’ll be paying a little bit more in sales and gas tax,” he said.

The governor’s office reported on Friday there was about $440 million in new income tax revenue and $42 million in sales tax revenue. He echoed the call for the income tax cut to double.

“This year’s revenue estimates show that our economy continues to thrive. This success is due to hard-working Utahns. Our continuing efforts to find efficiencies in state government and the success of our economy have helped produce another year of strong revenues,” Governor Gary Herbert said in a statement.

The Speaker insisted the tax bill was necessary to fix structural imbalances in the system that pays for government services we all use. The income tax is earmarked for education, while sales taxes pay for everything else in the state’s general fund.

“It’s not growing nearly as fast as the economy is and we’ve got to adjust our tax code,” Speaker Wilson said.

However, in the latest version of the bill, removing the earmark for education on the income tax will not be considered. The Speaker told FOX 13 that would be discussed in a general session.

There is a public hearing scheduled for 5pm Monday to discuss the changes to the tax bill. A special session could be called for Thursday.

Each group had different reasons for opposing the bill. Some said the sales tax on services was too selective. Others criticized a hike in the gas tax, while one group said it supported the idea of removing the earmark on the income tax for education. Chase Thomas of the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah opposed the sales tax hike on food.

“We should not be saddling tax reform on Utahns who are already struggling,” he said Friday.

This story originally appeared at Fox13.com. Read it in its entirety here.


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