Sweeping tax reform passes, with some last-minute changes

Dec 13, 2019, 7:10 AM | Updated: 1:08 pm

Photo: Colby Walker | KSLNewsRadio...

Photo: Colby Walker | KSLNewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah state lawmakers have approved a sweeping tax reform package.

The bill lowers the income tax rate while raising the sales tax on food, gas and some services.

Lawmakers said they are aiming to offset the higher costs of sales tax on food by sending out ‘pre-bate’ checks to low- and moderate-income residents as part of some last minute changes they made to the bill

Supporters of the new tax law say those increased sales taxes are necessary.

“Until we get a tax base that grows with population, we’re not going to be able to fund the problems that population bring,” said Sen. Lyle Hillyard.

“The primary responsibility as legislators, in terms of the tax reform, is to keep our economy strong to keep us moving in a positive direction, and I think that that is exactly what this does,” said Rep Bradley Last.

Source: Utah Legislature

But opponents said it creates a burden.

“I know that for some individuals, a dollar, or two dollars or four dollars means nothing. But there’s a lot of working families in our communities where that is the difference between a gallon of milk or diapers for their babies,” said Sen. Luz Escamilla.

The Utah Constitution earmarks all income tax toward education, so some things will need changing in the general session.

“What is the rush, particularly when we don’t have an essential piece?” asked Heidi Matthews, the president of the Utah Education Association. “It sends the message that that, we’re doing just fine and we’re not.”

Lawmakers say the idea is to focus more income tax revenue on K-12 rather than higher ed and see how local LEAs and property taxes can bring in a bigger share.

The bill now goes to the Governor. Lawmakers voted mostly along party lines Thursday night.

But because the bill did NOT get a 2/3 majority in the House, it could conceivably be voted on by the public in a referendum.

See the full changes here: 4th SUB Tax Restructuring Revisions Summary 12-12-2019-final

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Jeff Caplan shares his experience of seeing U2 perform the inaugural show at The Sphere at The Vene...

Jeff Caplan

PHOTOS: I got inside The Las Vegas Sphere. I paid dearly.

Jeff Caplan shares his experience of seeing U2 perform the inaugural show at The Sphere at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas with his wife.

10 hours ago

SALT LAKE CITY -- *** temples were announced in the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of the Chur...

Clayre Scott & Devin Oldroyd

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announces 20 new temples

20 new temples were announced in the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Sunday.

11 hours ago


Michelle Lee

Here’s how you can benefit from home workouts

Let's Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Fitness Trainer Amy Hackamack to learn how home workouts can be beneficial to our health.

12 hours ago

Photo of a SLCPD cruiser...

Devin Oldroyd

SLCPD arrests three suspects in Sunday morning shooting investigation

A Salt Lake City Police Department investigation resulted in the arrest of three individuals involved in a shooting early Sunday morning.

13 hours ago

Car accident on US189 on October 1, 2023. (Steve Fisher)...


Police: Fatal car accident on US 189 in Provo Canyon

U.S. Route 189 is closed both northbound and southbound due to a fatal car crash at mile marker 20 in Provo Canyon, authorities said.

13 hours ago

Apple is blaming a software bug and other issues tied to popular apps such as Instagram and Uber fo...

MICHAEL LIEDTKE AP Technology Writer

Apple says it will fix software problems blamed for making iPhone 15 models too hot to handle

Apple is blaming a software bug and other issues for causing its recently released iPhone 15 models to heat up and "becoming too hot to handle."

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Sweeping tax reform passes, with some last-minute changes