SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A bill that would kill Utah’s sales tax on groceries passed through its first hurdle, after being unanimously approved by the House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Tuesday.

The bill, H.B. 101 1st Sub, would remove the Utah state sales tax on food on the condition Senate Joint Resolution 10 is also approved, signed by the governor, and passed by voters as a constitutional amendment in the 2024 general election.

S.J.R.10 would amend the State Constitution which would remove the requirement that revenue from income tax is spent on public education.

Advocates for the bill have rallied at the capitol, calling for the repeal of the state’s food tax. The community has cited a need for a tax break, especially as inflation continues to impact the prices of basic necessities.

Lawmakers in a statement last week said they understand that removing state sales taxes on food is a priority for Utahns, but have pointed toward budget concerns and restraints as to why they have been unable to remove the tax.

Utah Sen. Ann Miller (UT-District 5) said that the food sales tax helps fund programs for the homeless, public safety, court, parks, Medicaid, and more. As the removal of the sales tax is expected to provide Utahns with $200 million in tax reduction, lawmakers are looking toward the income tax revenue to fund programs currently funded by the food sales tax.

The Utah Education Association has so far been opposed to the bill, saying that it is unacceptable in the way that it is currently written.

“UEA and other education stakeholders have been at the table discussing a Constitutional Mandate that guarantees a funding distribution method that continues to grow our investment in public education and our students,” UEA told ABC4 in a statement.

In a letter to members, UEA President Renee Pinkney asked the educators for their input on the bill. Pinkey said UEA’s goal is to ensure education funding is prioritized, protected, and adequate through constitutional and statutory guarantees.

H.B. 101 will next be presented on to the House floor for readings and a vote before moving forward to the Senate, should it pass.