New legislation proposes employer tax credit for child care

Politics

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News)- On Friday, Representative Suzanne Harrison of District 32 which represents Sandy and Draper introduced House Bill 187.

Speaking to the Revenue and Taxation Standing Committee, Rep. Harrison said, “the number of licensed child care providers has been steadily decreasing since 2005.”

Harrison says her proposed bill is designed to help families and businesses.

“I introduced House Bill 187 which is an employer tax credit which asks the state to invest in helping families afford and have access to child care through an employer tax credit.”

If approved, Harrison and advocates believe the legislation would keep more parents in the workforce, and help companies retain employees.

“I think this type of tax credit is used to encourage behavior of something that we want more of,” she explained. “This modest tax credit of $500,000 for five years is a good investment for our families to help get more businesses thinking about how they can give back to Utah to solve our child care shortages and also help their bottom line in finding, attracting and retaining top talent. The company can apply for 50% as a tax credit.”

Speaking to the committee in support of the proposed bill was working mom Janelle Griffin.

With her 1-year-old daughter in tow, Griffin explains why she supports the bill. “We wanted our child in a good situation, but also we needed to both work. I think it’s just hard sometimes. We’re not represented.”

The bill’s introduction was met with several questions and some push back from committee members.

“I think it crosses the proper role of government,” said Rep. Mark A. Strong of District 41.

“I have a hard time understanding how it is that the government is going to do a better job at telling the men and women in the C-suite this is the benefit you should be offering, said Rep. Norman Thurston of District 64.”

After a back and forth debate, lawmakers adjourned without voting on the bill.

As far as Rep. Harrison’s next course of action? “It’s really a matter of coming back at the next meeting should I ask the chairs to put it back on the agenda,” she said.

The committee is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, February 25th.

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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...