SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Lawmakers say their new tax plan means tax cuts for Utahns, but residents could end up paying more on groceries and gas.
“Globally, when you add everything together… The new sales tax coming in and tax cuts, it ends up being a net $70 to $80 million tax cut,” said State representative, Francis Gibson (R-Mapleton).
Rep. Francis Gibson and Senator Lyle Hillyard, of the Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force, defended the tax plan Friday.
While the sales tax on food would go up, the overall income tax rate would be cut, but groups like Utahns Against Hunger say that’s not enough to offset those increases.
They say bumping up the tax on food would hurt Utahns with low incomes who are already struggling.
“Increasing the Sales Tax on Food is a drastic and permanent change to Utah law and to family’s budgets. Frankly, put-the Sales Tax on Food is not a math problem, it’s a moral problem. We should not tax the essentials for living,” said Executive Director Gina Cornia in a statement.
The Utah Taxpayers Association said the proposal outlined many of the principles the organization has been advocating for, but “there will need to be a detailed discussion of the fiscal impact of these reforms.”