One of the "heavy lifts" ahead of lawmakers during this year's legislative session is tackling tax reform.
Republican legislators have adopted the mantra of "broaden the base and lower the rates," meaning collecting more taxes, mainly sales taxes, while lowering the overall tax rate.
Our "Political Insiders" are not convinced they'll be able to accomplish that goal this year. 52% of the Republicans on our panel say the Legislature will be able to achieve that goal, but 69% of the Democrats and 53% of our readers say they won't.
Selected anonymous comments:
Nibbling around the edges, yes. But I'm afraid that's about it. There's too much uncertainty around federal taxation implementation for them to take a big enough swing at it.
Where there's a will, there's a way. But is there a will? Check back on Mar. 8 at midnight.
They'll try, and they'll do something but...
If they are talking about it publicly, they likely have a deal basically in place. Tax cuts in an election year should sail through the legislature.
Federal Tax reform indirectly raised the Utah Income Tax on families with a lot of kids (exemptions)... maybe this is a sleeper issue, and next year there will be a targeted tax cut on the group for the 'unintentional' tax increase they are going to experience in 2018 if nothing is done.
Actually, I believe they will somehow manage to broaden the tax base AND raise rates. Feckless is just too kind a descriptor for a legislature who is running a huge surplus and yet refuses to give us a refund of OUR taxes.
With a tax increase initiative bearing down in them, I don't think that the legislature will come up with a true and adequate fix to help possible problems with funding brought about by federal tax law changes, as well as keeping up with what is needed to adequately fund education and other state programs. They will try and tout it as the greatest taxation package in earth's history, but will it really be? I will believe it when I see it. Sure, I'm cynical, I taught school for 35 years. What do you expect?
They'll do something. But it's an election year, so odds are that if it even smells like a tax increase (think property tax equalization), then they'll balk.
I think they will pass something, but I do not think it will actually broaden the base. The current proposals push more onto lower-income taxpayers and cut more from well-connected industries.
The state legislature will pass tax reform. The most likely outcome will be more burden for middle-class families.
Lobbyists for the realtors, medical providers, attorneys, etc. will prevail at the end of the session. The concept is right; the execution is nearly impossible without a united political will.
There isn't enough intestinal fortitude in any legislator (let alone the entire legislature) to seriously take on taxes during an election year.
They will insist on raising taxes even if they can broaden the tax base. It will never be enough to make Herbert and Bramble happy.
The governor and legislature love to spend money and will not reduce taxes. Broaden base would get some of their friends to pay higher taxes so will not happen either.