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Utah News

Johnson Laments Tax Increases In Times Of Surplus

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With the Utah legislative session in the books, the state is boasting an $88 million surplus and a rainy day fund of nearly a half a billion dollars. But in his op-ed piece in the Salt Lake Tribune, Jonathan Johnson, chairman of overstock.com, laments that the legislature still came up with at least 5 new ways to separate Utahans from more of their money.

One increase that didn’t pass was a proposal to raise the income tax rate from five to 5 7/8 percent to benefit public schools.  Proponents threaten to take that matter to a public referendum, something the former GOP gubernatorial candidate would welcome.

“I would be very surprised if Utahns felt like a 17 percent income tax hike was warranted,” Johnson said.

His list of tax increases include: a hike in gas taxes, upping telephone fees, increasing fees on registering off-road vehicles, putting more taxes on tourism and raising liquor taxes and fees.