Governor Herbert weighs in on tax reform, says special session is possible

Politics

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Governor Gary Herbert is weighing in on the tax reform proposal recently released by legislative leadership.

He says the process is trending in the right direction, and they may be addressing it soon.

The tax talk was part of his monthly news conference at KUED.

“I appreciate the fact that the legislature really is taking this seriously. They have been out there, I think, being open and transparent, getting comments and input from different stakeholders across the state and certainly the citizens of Utah,” said Herbert, (R) Utah.

The governor says it’s possible the state could take up reform in December 2019.

“I think a special session is still on the table if we can have some kind of consensus between the Senate and the House,” Herbert said.

The proposal would extend sales tax to some services, and bump up the sales tax on food.

The governor says if the food tax goes through those who struggle should be protected.

“In tax fairness, those at the lower end of the economic spectrum shouldn’t have to pay the tax. And, I think with vouchers, with tax credits, with the different options we have in the tax code that can actually be arranged, so if we put the sales tax back on food those that are vulnerable don’t have to pay it,” said Herbert.

Removing the education earmark on the income tax is also on the table.

The governor says he could support that.

“If, they find buy-in from the educational stakeholders, and they can show that there is going to be a sustainable revenue stream for education.”

The governor also wants tax reform to include a significant tax cut, and he’d like to see that go into effect by January 1, 2020.

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    Glen Mills

    Chief Political Correspondent

     Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. 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...