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Richard Piatt ReportingUtah's Legislature is getting closer to changing the way you pay taxes. The work of a special task force has come down to a few proposals. Now it's your turn to speak out about them.
The biggest worry most people have about changing the tax system is that it changes in a fair way. The problem is everyone has a difference of opinion about what's fair.
Today is interim day at the Capitol, which gets lawmakers together to prepare for the upcoming session. Part of the talk in the hallways today has to do with the changes to the tax system that are proposed. Remember, everything is on the table: Property taxes, corporate taxes, and of course, income taxes.
Income tax is what gets most people's attention. The proposed changes adjust the tax rate, how much you might pay. A flat tax is one of the ideas that is getting support. And there are proposed changes to the deductions you can claim for things like dependents, mortgage interest and charitable donations. Even simplifying the forms and how you file your taxes could be part of this.
Lawmakers are debating different variations on these basic elements, and some worry low-income people could get lost in the shuffle.
Linda Hilton, Crossroads Urban Center: "There are always tax breaks for corporations and big business, but never seems to be any tax relief for the regular working citizen. And we feel the sales tax on food is a good place to start."
Sen. Curtis Bramble, (R) Orem: "There are going to be winners and losers no matter what we do. And there are going to be nay sayers about a proposal like this no matter what we do. But if there is a credible concern out there, we want to listen to them."
No decisions will be made until all the public hearings are done, and then there will be still more hearings. But this is a priority for state leaders.