Good news for Utah taxpayers: the tax reform package that passed on Dec. 12 during a special session includes a $160 million ongoing tax cut plus an estimated $70 million one-time tax cut. The enacted legislation ensures Utah’s economy stays competitive while also alleviating some of the tax burden placed on Utah families. The state is able to provide a tax cut thanks to the Herbert administration’s focus on shrinking the size of government while continuing to provide quality services. In FY 2019 there were fewer state full-time equivalent employees (20,700) than in FY 2002 (20,850), despite considerable growth in Utah’s population.
In addition to the tax cut, some of the significant strides taken during the special session to rebalance the state’s tax code include broadening the sales tax base to include some services and gasoline, putting the sales tax back on unprepared food, increasing the car rental tax from 2.5% to 4% and creating a new diesel excise tax.
The Legislature should be commended for passing this tax reform package. While more work remains to be done, including taxing a wider array of services, the enacted changes will shore up the general fund enough to allow government to meet the service and infrastructure demands of a growing population for the near future.
Click here to learn more about why tax reform was needed.
Click here to read a thorough overview of the special session outcomes by the Tax Foundation.