Yesterday, a special session was called by the governor, and the legislature will meet tomorrow (Thursday) to vote on tax reform. There are several parts of this bill that I completely support, and I understand the need to restructure our tax system; however, I will be voting no unless there are some major changes.
Briefly, the parts of this bill I support are the Social Security tax credit and restoring the child income tax exemption that was removed when the federal tax structure changed in 2017. I also think we should remove many of the sales tax exemptions that no longer serve us.
I do not support the majority of this bill for a variety of reasons. It unnecessarily complicates the tax process, which should be kept as simple as possible. It creates more reliance and dependency on government in the form of tax credits. It does not look at the Utah tax system holistically and provide a long term solution. It expands the sales tax base without lowering the rate, which is a basic rule for good tax policy. It creates burdens, financial and regulatory, for our most vulnerable families and citizens. In addition, there are further, more substantial, tax reforms necessary to fix our imbalance, and this package just muddies the waters and puts the cart before the horse, if you will pardon my metaphors. Also, very important to me, my constituents have been very clear that they do not want this package passed, at least not in this special session.
A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a survey to thousands of my constituents asking for your views on the main portions of the tax reform package and had 268 responses–THANK YOU! This is not a random sample, but it does give me a good idea of how many of you are feeling. I also included a space in the survey for you to comment, and 126 of you did.
Click here for the results of the survey. I hope this link works.
It is such an amazing opportunity to be able to serve in this capacity.