POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Tax cuts may be limited in Utah this year due to a tighter budget

Feb 16, 2024, 9:32 AM | Updated: 9:58 am

The Capitol is pictured in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024....

The Capitol is pictured in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. A bill to build a pedestrian bridge in Sandy has been approved by a legislative committee. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah lawmakers might not be able to do as many tax cuts as they would like this year, with budget estimates looking, “pretty flat,” according to Utah Senate Budget Chairman Jerry Stevenson.

Last year, lawmakers had a surplus north of $1 billion. However, since then, Utah’s income tax rate has dropped from 4.85 to 4.65%.

With less money coming in, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams told reporters Thursday the economy likely took a hit with inflation and high-interest rates, both of which likely affected consumer spending.

Adams said they are putting a large focus on things like energy, water and housing in the final two weeks of the General Legislative Session since they believe these will drive the economy.

“If you have a strong economy, you have plenty of money for schools…roads…[and] all kinds of public services,” Adams said.

Tax cuts still on the table this year

Adams did clarify a tax cut, “is in the budget,” but they are going to make sure they don’t do anything rash.

“We’re going to measure twice and we’re going to cut once, and we’re going to do it with an eye to the future,” Adams said. “We’re going to make sure we don’t make a mistake.”

The Utah Senate has also passed a bill that would further lower Utah’s individual and corporate income tax rate from 4.65 to 4.55%. That bill still needs the approval of the full House and Gov. Spencer Cox.

Stevenson said full budget estimates will be released Friday at noon.

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Tax cuts may be limited in Utah this year due to a tighter budget