Utah House Democrats release tax overhaul proposal

Politics

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah Democrats have released a tax proposal ahead of a special legislative session on tax reform this month; their plan would cut taxes for 99% of Utahns. 

Representative Joel Briscoe explained, “In England, we’d be called ‘the loyal opposition’; we’re loyal Utahns and we thought it was our obligation to present another point of view, another idea about how to reform the tax system in Utah.”

The plan proposes a major change to Income Tax by implementing a bracket system. Utahns making less than $150k annually would be taxed a 4.6%, a .3% decrease. Earners between $150-250k annually would pay 6%, earners between $250-600k would pay 7%, and all earners making over $600k annually would be taxed at 8%. 

As for Sales Tax, this plan completely discards it, implementing instead a Gross Receipts Tax. That means that businesses will be taxed on their total revenue regardless of industry or item. Right now the sales tax rate is 4.85%, Democrats propose a GRT of less than 1% applied across the board with, they say, far fewer exemptions. 

Briscoe said, “There’s several hundred million dollars of exemptions, we don’t have a lot of good data on that.”

Local sales taxes would remain in effect. 

Briscoe said, “We’re in it for the long haul. We’re not setting deadlines on this like a month or a week, we think changes this big really deserve seeing the light of day.”

The Special session on tax reform could be scheduled for as early as December  12th.

State leaders announced late Friday they now plan to double the proposed tax cut from $80 to $160 million following the latest revenue estimates.

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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...