The Utah Legislature passed a last-minute deal to let voters decide on a gas tax hike. The 10-cents-per-gallon increase would funnel additional money into education and roads.
Rep. Becky Edward’s bill is a compromise between state lawmakers and leaders of the Our Schools Now initiative. The group had hoped to raise almost $700 million for schools through a combination of sales and income tax increases. The compromise would provide about half of that. Rep. Mike Winder voted for the bill.
“I think we have an opportunity here to stop in its tracks, potentially the largest tax increase in the state of Utah’s history with the $700 million Our Schools Now initiative,” Winder said. “I also think on the other hand we have an opportunity to provide record funding for education, both K-12 and higher ed that’s sorely needed.”
The bill still has to be signed by the governor.
Our Schools Now supporters gathered enough signatures to put their measure on the November 2018 ballot. Republican lawmakers promised to cut Utah’s tax rates back if voters approve it.