Lawmakers have tried and failed in the past to create a state earned income tax credit for Utah’s working poor, but a new effort underway is gaining traction in the statehouse.
The House approved a bill on Tuesday called the Utah Intergenerational Poverty Work and Self-Sufficiency Tax Credit, which could give eligible residents up to $600 a year.
Bill sponsor Rep. John Westwood, R-Cedar City, said it would serve 25,000 families who are experiencing hardship.
“I believe it’s a cost effective way to help working families who need it most,” Westwood said.
The vote was 42-31 for the bill, with opposition from the body’s more conservative lawmakers, including House Speaker Greg Hughes.
It could face tougher odds in the other chamber. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, was non-committal on supporting it.
“I think before we start settling on which policies we’re going to fund, I think we need to get all the bills, and then balance and weigh each one, and then decide where we’re going to go from there," he said.
The bill comes with a price tag of $6 million. Rep. Westwood noted it costs less than previous proposals.