Bill removing state-imposed food sales tax moves forward in Utah legislature

Feb 21, 2023, 6:30 PM

Remove food sales tax...

Rep. Judy Weeks Rohner, R-West Valley City, talks about the benefits of removing the food sales tax during a press conference outside of Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. (Kristin Murphey, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphey, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal to take the state sales tax off food. H.B. 101 also asks voters to change education funding.

The bill passed a committee Tuesday morning. 

H.B. 101 requires voters to approve freeing up the income tax fund from being tied to education. After this, in 2025, the sales tax on food would come off.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Judy Weeks Rohner (R-West Valley City), has long been working for the food tax to come off.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to fund all of our state’s needs because income tax revenue is rapidly outpacing sales tax revenue,” Weeks Rohner says.

She argues voters deserve a chance to weigh in on this.

“The people of this state deserve to be able to be heard [and] to be able to make a decision if this is what they want,” Weeks Rohner says.

However, some people in education worry this will take protected funding out of the constitution.

“The legislature is committed to protect education funding,” Weeks Rohner says. “At this present time, leadership is working with the education community to see that this is done.”

H.B. 101 now moves to the full house for consideration.

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Bill removing state-imposed food sales tax moves forward in Utah legislature