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Politics & Government

Top Utah GOP Lawmakers Announce $100 Million In Targeted State Tax Cuts

Photo of capitol facade.
Brian Albers / KUER
Utah lawmakers are pursuing about $100 million in state tax cuts.

Utah legislative leadership announced Monday they are pursuing $100 million in annual tax cuts through a series of three bills.

“We want to put money back in the hands of the Utahns who need it most, specifically Utah's families, veterans and seniors,” Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said during a Monday press conference. “However, we know many people in the state are still struggling and we have not forgotten you and we will not forget you. We are committed to help all Utahns and will continue to work tirelessly to provide tax relief for everyone in our communities.”

Adams said the tax cut is possible because of how well Utah weathered the pandemic’s economic storm, which has resulted in an increase in tax revenue. According to new estimates released Friday, the state has $112 million more in ongoing revenue than they originally expected.

One bill brings back part of the dependent tax exemption that the 2017 federal tax cut shrunk.

Another piece of legislation stops the state from collecting income tax from military retirement pay. Utah is currently one of only four states that treats military retirement income as taxable.

The third category of tax relief is for elderly people. A House bill eliminates income tax for some social security income.

Lawmakers are still working out the details of the tax cuts and weren’t able to share a final breakdown of how the roughly $100 million is divided among the three bills.

All three bills have unanimously passed one chamber of the Legislature. Legislative leaders initially set aside $80 million for tax cuts at the beginning of the legislative session in January, but decided to increase it to $100 million.

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said the tax cuts would help families put food on their tables, encourage military veterans to stay in Utah and help elderly people on fixed incomes.

“This tax cut is part of our broader strategy as a legislature to focus on and broaden the economic success of all Utahns,” Wilson said. “As elected officials, it is absolutely our job to take and use tax dollars to the greatest benefit of Utahns, and sometimes that actually means giving it back to Utahns.”

Wilson also said lawmakers discussed cutting the overall income tax rate but decided against it. They could choose to make a general rate cut next year though, he added.

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