Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox breaks with governor on tax reform proposal, says ‘we can do better’

Local (Utah/State News)
Lt Governor Spencer Cox

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox came out against the current state tax reform proposal.

In a statement released Tuesday night, Cox said it’s “rare” that he disagrees with the governor, but “this was one of those times.”

Just hours earlier, Gov. Gary Herbert issued a call for a special session to implement the latest tax reform proposal.

The Utah State Legislature Tax Restructuring and Equalization Tax Force voted 6 to 3 Monday night to present the current proposal to the full legislature.

The proposal on the table would result in a $160 million income tax cut for Utahns, but residents would end up paying more for groceries with a full restoration of the state sales tax to 4.85% up from the current reduced rate of 1.75%.

Lawmakers who support the current proposal say it will increase funding for education while opponents say it will cripple those who are struggling to make ends meet.

Cox said he has discussed his concerns with Gov. Herbert. While the current proposal is a “significant improvement” over previous versions, he still believes “we can do better.”

READ HIS FULL STATEMENT:

Tax policy is among the most challenging and controversial issues lawmakers undertake. We are fortunate to live in a state where leaders look ahead to solve problems before they become a crisis and are willing to address difficult issues even when they are unpopular. Such public service is a rarity in our country today, and I am grateful for Utah’s leadership in the Legislature and the Governor for their dedication.

Today the Governor called a special session to implement the latest reform proposal. As Lt. Governor, I am in a unique position. While it is rare that I disagree with the Governor, this is one of those times. We have had very candid discussions regarding my concerns over the past month. Admittedly this bill is a significant improvement over previous iterations. However, I still believe that we can do better. I recognize this a very difficult decision for the Governor and I always support him even when we disagree.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox

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