The Beehive family helps break down what the average Utahn is taxed

Apr 19, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:28 pm

Utah Taxpayers Association created a fictional family, the Beehive family, to break down what taxes...

Utah Taxpayers Association created a fictional family, the Beehive family, to break down what taxes the average Utahn pays. (prachid/Adobe Stock via CNN)

(prachid/Adobe Stock via CNN)

SALT LAKE CITY — Bob and Brooke Beehive, from Utah, are married with three kids and make around $86,000 annually. However, this family isn’t real. 

Instead, this fictitious family was created by the Utah Taxpayers Association to represent the average Utah family. 

Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic talked to Rusty Cannon, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, on one of their latest shows. They break down how much the Beehive family gets taxed. 

Bob makes about $60,000 annually, and Brooke makes around $27,000 and standards deductions are taken from their income. 

Out of the around $86,000 combined annual income, more than $20,000 is paid in taxes, 23% of the household’s income.

Taxes for the Beehive family

According to Noriega, the report that used the Beehive family had over 30 different taxes being implemented. 

Of the hypothetical $20,000 the Beehive family pays in taxes, less than $1,000 goes to the federal income tax, says Dujanovic. 

Although this might seem surprising, Cannon explains that there was over $14,000 paid in social security and Medicare tax from the Beehive family also to the federal government. 

Cannon goes on to discuss currently how payroll tax is set up. 

“If you are employed by an employer, for instance, half of it is paid by the employer, you never see it. But if you quit today, go home, and become self-employed, you’d pay all of it. And it’s all paid to the government,” he says. 

Cannon says that the fund holding social security money is going in solvent in 11 years. 

“Elected officials that continue to “refuse to touch social security” they’re making an endorsement of a 20% cut of benefit to every American in 11 years if we don’t fix this,” he explains. 

Dujanovic then poses the question if the employer covers half of the social security tax, does that result in lower wages? 

“We think absolutely that is the case,” Cannon responded.

According to Cannon, the biggest state tax burden to Utahns is property tax. And the second is state income tax.

“I think it does paint a picture of what your listeners can do or what any taxpayer is Utah can do, pay attention and get involved,” Cannon said when Dujanovic asked if there was anything the fictional family could do to lower their taxes. 

“People need to get involved and pay attention,” he said. 

Listen to the full episode below. 


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The Beehive family helps break down what the average Utahn is taxed