What will lawmakers do with the massive $1.3 billion projected budget surplus this year? Some lawmakers are pushing for a tax cut with some of that money.
We asked our “Political Insiders” what size of tax cut, if any, lawmakers will end up with this year:
- A plurality of the Republicans in our group think there won’t be a tax cut this year. 40% believe the tax cut will be $100 million or less. Just 13% say it will be more $200 million or more.
- 50% of the Democrats who answered our survey say they think there will be a tax cut of $100 million or less. 17% say it will be around $200 million.
- 43% of our readers believe there won’t be a tax cut. 31% say the tax cut will be $200 million or more.
Gov. Gary Herbert proposed in his budget shifting sales taxes to more services in addition to a $200 million sales tax cut in an effort to broaden the sales tax base while lowering the overall rate.
Selected anonymous comments:
The legislature seems to have a penchant for the public's money. Despite huge surpluses, they will irresponsibly and unnecessarily continue to RAISE our taxes, not cut them. It's as if they want to compete with California for being one of the highest-taxed states in the nation like we were in the early 2000s.
Any tax cut that they pass will be more than made up in some other new or increased tax. You'll hear a lot about the cut, and very little about the increase.
With $1.2 billion in surplus, there is no justifiable alternative to a substantial tax cut.
I'm a committed Republican. But we need increased accountability-oriented investment in public education and investment in future-looking infrastructure. The legislature should be pushing to modernize the tax structure, but not reduce revenues.
This legislature loves to tax and spend. There is no way they are cutting taxes.
When there's talk of needing to "broaden the base" and possibly begin taxing services, combined with being the fastest growing state (with infrastructure needs to match), why would we want to give a cut when we need the $ for infrastructure?
There are too many uncertainties with Medicare expansion to have large tax cuts. I do think they may try to restructure the tax code to "broaden the base", including the idea of taxing service-based business.
I've given up on the Utah Republicans doing what's right. Any tax cut will be met with a new tax in another area.
Wish they would use to for rainy day fund, roads or pay off bond debt. The tax cut will be minor.
A modest tax cut is appropriate, maybe even prudent, but a larger ongoing loss of revenue could cause problems when/if we have another downturn. I don't like paying every year when I file my taxes, but as a retired educator, I still feel responsible for the children of this state to get the best we have to offer. My grandchildren should have the same opportunities their parents had for an excellent education, both in K-12 and Post-High School, whatever that may entail.
Any tax cut will be minimal given the significant changes that were made last year.
I believe there will be a cut at the same time the legislature tells Utahns that there simply aren’t enough resources to expand Medicaid. I also believe the cut will be conservative ahead of fears/signs of an overall downturn in the national economy.
With all of the appropriations requests likely to be submitted through the various committees they likely will fund projects and split the difference on tax cuts.
They should be investing in infrastructure projects and public education, trying to make up for the lean years of the recession, not give massive tax cuts. The economy is good, unemployment is down. Trickle down doesn’t work.
Fools. Give it to our broken educational system.
Instead of a tax cut, I'd like to see the bulk of that surplus go toward our school system: lower class sizes, higher teacher salaries, bonuses for new teachers who complete five years in Utah, etc.
We should NOT pass a tax cut, we should make our schools and universities the best in the nation!
They should, but they won't. Will be wasted on the money pit of "education" and "roads".
They will pass a tax cut, but it will somehow raise taxes. They will take more money from us.
We have an education system that is so woefully underfunded we have a chance to make it so young teachers with families can actually make a wage that they can live on. Do it now!
Spend the money on education. That is what the taxes are for.
Unfortunately, the legislature will cut the income tax which funds education *again*, rather than the sales tax which funds their pet projects: e.g. prison move, TRAX to Utah County 15 years early, and subsidies for big businesses, especially dues-paying members of the Utah (Non)Taxpayer's Association. The problem is that legislators constantly speak out of one side of their mouth about the importance of education funding and the other about "budget imbalances." That is just code that they and their rich donors love to shift tax burdens away from their income tax to the poor on sales tax, and then use that money to benefit the influential.
A tax cut when everything is underfunded? What is wrong with this legislature?