Gov. Herbert Signs Tax Reform Bill Lowering Income, Raising Sale Tax

Dec 20, 2019

During Gov. Gary Herbert’s monthly press conference, he announced his signature of the tax reform bill passed last week by the state legislature in a special session. He also addressed some of the concerns that have been voiced in relation to the changes. 

During Gov. Gary Herbert’s monthly press conference, he announced his signature of the tax reform bill passed last week by the state legislature in a special session. He also addressed some of the concerns that have been voiced in relation to the changes. 

“Nobody likes taxes,” he said. “The question is what is the most fair and equitable way to in fact extract money from the population.”

The bill cuts state tax revenue by $160 million by lowering income taxes and increasing state sales taxes — including the tax on food. Many people are concerned the reforms will benefit the rich while draining the poor.

“86% of the people of Utah will pay less taxes next year than they paid this past year,” Herbert said. “That's pretty good step in the right direction.”

At the current tax rate, the governor said low income families receive a net benefit of about $40 million per year. He said with the new tax credit, the amount increases to about 135 million.

“Over three times more money now is going to be redirected into helping the poor — not only giving them money and resources, but also with the ability to put programs in place through our workforce services to help them get education training and to get off government assistance to have a better job," Herbert said.

Some people are also worried about how the bill will affect education funding in the state. Herbert said people can expect to see a “robust increase in education funding” during the upcoming legislative session through a combination of money from income and sales tax.

“The need to have more stability and predictability — certainly in the long term — for education funding is what has driven a lot of this idea of having some changes in our tax policy and have tax modernization that reflects the current economy,” Herbert said.

More information on the tax reform is available at utah.gov.