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Utah lawmakers scrap plans for major tax overhaul

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah lawmakers will not move forward with proposed plans for tax reform this legislative session.

Local businesses have come out against House Bill 441, Tax Equalization and Reduction Act, which would have lowered sales and income tax rates but introduced a tax on services we currently don’t pay taxes on. 

“We have decided we will not be pursuing the passage of HB 441 over the next week. We will instead be working with stakeholders to determine what will be the best course of action,” announced Utah Speaker of the House Brad Wilson at a news conference Thursday. “

 Legislative leaders still insist though that there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

“We have a serious problem. Not a revenue problem, but a tax structure problem,” said Governor Herbert. “As we work with many different organizations and groups… one: everyone seems to agree that we have a growing problem coming down the road, two: everyone seems to agree we need to broaden the base.”

The Salt Lake Chamber and other groups urged the governor and legislature to allow for more time for deliberations before making changes to Utah’s tax code.

Derek Miller, president, and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance issued the following statement on the decision to push pause on HB 441:

“After hearing from a number of our member businesses and listening to their concerns, we called upon the Governor and the Legislature to allow for more time for deliberation on efforts to modernize Utah’s tax code. We recognize a policy change of this magnitude requires a robust public process and ample discussion. For this reason, we’ve been working around the clock advocating on behalf of our members in calling for more time to allow for the review and dialogue this complex issue requires.” 

Alliance for a Better Utah said it supports efforts to modernize our tax system, but it urges lawmakers to leave the income tax rate alone.

“We commend lawmakers for taking time on this issue and picking tax reform up later this year. Whether it’s studied during interim or taken up during a special session, we hope the process allows for sufficient public input, not only by business interests but by the public as well.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

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