SALT LAKE CITY – Utah lawmakers took their first steps towards a tax cut on Wednesday.
The Utah Senate unanimously voted to pass SB11, a bill that would use approximately $ 43 million of the $ 80 million already earmarked for a tax cut earlier this year to reduce income taxes for Utahns on social Lower security and military retirement.
The bill is now going to the house for review – and is expected to be paired with other tax breaks in the course of the meeting. Legislators have also expressed interest in a general income tax cut and an increase in the state’s existing tax credit for dependents to reverse some damage from changes to federal tax law in recent years.
“This will be part of a larger tax-cut package that we’re doing with other things put forward by both the House and Senate,” said Billing Sponsor Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville. “Together we will do good things for the state of Utah this year.”
Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said tax cuts this year were “a top priority”.
“After a difficult year, it was important to us to get money back into the hands of Utahns,” said Adams in a prepared statement. “This bill does just that. I’m thrilled that the Senate is promptly and meticulously taking steps to lower taxes. “
If SB11 were approved by the House of Representatives and signed by Governor Spencer Cox, it would reduce the tax burden on nearly 67,000 fixed income Utahns, including those who as a couple $ 48,000 per year or less or as an individual $ 24,000 or less as an individual for income earn social security.
This would reduce their social security loan burden by an average of $ 298 a year – nearly $ 20 million total. It would also provide a tax credit for nearly 18,100 veterans on military pensions, a tax cut averaging $ 1,315 for a total of $ 23.8 million.
“I really appreciate that,” said Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City. “I think it’s the right move. Let’s get this out of here so we can start discussing it. Let’s work with the House and our executive to find the best and fairest way to lower taxes. “
Whether it is this bill or an “amendment,” Vickers said, “it is very appropriate to start the discussion this early in the session as all work on this issue has been done in the meantime.
Jerry Stevenson, Senate Budget Chairman, R-Layton, said the debate over tax breaks for Utahns in relation to military pensions has been a debate on Capitol Hill, Utah for years. He said some military utahns had decided to move out of the state to avoid taxes on their retirement. “As a result … we are losing many people who not only have military training but can lead others,” he said.
Harper called SB11 “really good politics”.
“It’s something we need to discuss and it’s something we have to go through and go through,” said Harper, adding that the House “will deal with it fairly and justly. We have to get this right.”