Tax reform passes after last-minute changes that give checks to Utahns

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns will pay less in income tax but more in sales tax on food, gas and some services under a massive tax reform bill passed by lawmakers in a special legislative session Thursday night following last-minute changes that include sending out checks to low- and moderate-income residents.

Some Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in the House and Senate in voting against SB2001, but the bill passed the Senate 20-7 and then the House, 43-27 after the version advanced Monday at the final meeting of the Legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force was substituted on the Senate floor — twice.

Because the bill was amended in the House to make a technical clarification, it had to go back to the Senate for a final vote, where it passed again, 19-7. Because the bill didn’t reach a two-thirds majority in either the House or Senate, it won’t take effect for 60 days and is also vulnerable to a citizen’s referendum.

The Alliance for a Better Utah responded strongly to the additions to the bill.

”When the checks and other shiny trinkets meant to distract are taken away, voters overwhelmingly oppose this tax reform proposal. Instead of scrambling to secure their reelections next year, lawmakers should realize they shouldn’t be pushing this through tonight while still making changes only hours before. This is horrible policymaking and lawmakers should be absolutely ashamed they’re trying to pull off this sham,” said the alliance’s executive director, Chase Thomas.

This story originally appeared at You can read it in its entirety here.

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