POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Bill would legalize lottery, cut taxes in Utah

Feb 5, 2024, 12:56 PM | Updated: May 14, 2024, 6:44 am

Lottery forms are shown, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at the Presidente Supermarket in the Little Havana n...

Lottery forms are shown, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at the Presidente Supermarket in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. Mega Millions jackpot has grown to $1.55 billion, making it the third-largest ever ahead of Tuesday night's drawing. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SALT LAKE CITY — One Utah legislator is proposing a bill that would legalize the lottery in Utah and reduce taxes in the state. 

Rep. Kera Birkeland is behind the bill and said she wants the revenue to go directly toward lowering property taxes.

According to Birkeland, Utahns spend millions on lottery tickets in other states so it would make more sense for that money to go directly to benefit state residents.

“Utahns are going to other places and spending at least, possibly more because not everywhere requires a ZIP code to purchase, over [$]200 million in gambling tickets. That’s revenue that could be brought back to our state,” Birkeland told KSL NewsRadio. 

Furthermore, she said many senior citizens on fixed incomes are struggling to keep their homes due to the high cost of taxes. 

“I cannot go anywhere within the district I represent and not have someone, typically the older generation, who says they cannot afford to stay in their home,” she explained. “Their property tax right now, monthly cost to pay their property tax, is more than their mortgage ever was.” 

The resolution would create designated places to buy lottery tickets in every Utah county. If passed, Hawaii would be the only state in the country to still prohibit gambling. 

“One location in every county, this way people aren’t continually making trips to Idaho, Wyoming and all these other places,” Birkeland said. 

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Bill would legalize lottery, cut taxes in Utah