Tax burden on Utah’s imaginary family — almost 25%

Apr 19, 2022, 12:26 PM
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
A hypothetical family, the Beehives, is used to show what the tax burden a typical family in Utah would pay. Photo credit: Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Taxpayers Association created an imaginary family — Bob and Brooke Beehive and their three kids –to look at the tax burden a typical family in Utah would pay.

Their annual tax burden report shows Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes are by far the largest part of the tax burden, while state sales and income taxes also make up a significant share.

With help from child tax credits and exemptions, the Beehives would receive a federal tax refund of $2,321 on an adjusted gross income of $84,089 — somewhat higher than Utah’s median income as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau of $74,197.

Taxpayers Association President Rusty Cannon said the burden of federal payroll taxes is something many Utahns may not think about.

“The one thing that we hope this report shows that most people might not know is the massive amount of payroll and Social Security taxes everybody pays, and this is a federal conversation,” Cannon told KSL NewsRadio. 

While most people see half of the payroll taxes deducted on their pay stubs, Cannon said they’ve accounted for the full amount.

“You’re paying it. It’s just being remitted by your employer to the government, and so it’s an indirect tax that we think definitely needs to be measured and part of the calculation,” Cannon said.

Looking at the last legislative session, Cannon said lawmakers enacted a small cut in the state’s income tax, dropping the rate from 4.95% to 4.85%. But he said some neighboring states are being much more aggressive about tax cuts.

“We’ve got several neighbors — Arizona just went to two-and-a-half percent. Nevada’s zero. Wyoming’s zero. Idaho just cut theirs by a half-a-percent,” he said.

Cannon said Utah’s efforts at water conservation could also help lower the tax burden. As providers move away from property tax subsidies for water to a system based on user fees.

Related: What the delay in receiving a tax refund this year will mean for Utahns


Today’s Top Stories


Herbert Cox statement Reyes election lawsuit...
Mark Jones

State of Utah files lawsuit against pharmaceutical retailers

Three pharmaceutical retailers are facing a lawsuit from the State of Utah. The lawsuit was filed the week of July 1.
6 days ago
This June 20, 2017, photo provided by Chris Wonderly shows Hovenweep Castle at Hovenweep National M...
Curt Gresseth

Supreme Court widens state power over tribes. What does it mean for Utah?

The director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs discusses the recent US Supreme Court ruling and what it means for tribes in Utah.
7 days ago
Ketanji Brown Jackson takes the oath for the Supreme Court....
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, will be sworn as the court's 116th justice Thursday, just as the man she is replacing, Justice Stephen Breyer, retires.
7 days ago
Immigration activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 26. Photo credi...
Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy.
7 days ago
The Supreme Court is pictured. The court just limited the EPA...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation's main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
7 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, ...

Biden says transatlantic alliance has adapted to new threats

Biden's comments came at a press conference in Madrid at the conclusion of the annual meeting of NATO leaders and after he attended a summit with the Group of Seven advanced democratic economies in the Bavarian Alps.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Tax burden on Utah’s imaginary family — almost 25%