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Richard Piatt ReportingA surprise emerged from a Legislative Task Force today: Lawmakers are talking about tax cuts. Don't plan on buying that boat or fancy vacation yet, but this is a good example of how the good economy could trickle down to more money in your pocket.
Some kind of tax cut is on the table---part of the list of reforms, changes and tweeks this Task Force is proposing for Utah's tax code. Also new today, an additional income tax proposal that calls for a modified 'flat tax', but that keeps certain tax deductions in place.
Utah's good economy is playing a role here too. The timing seems to be right for reform, but it's still too early to get a straight answer about 'how much' those changes will add up to.
John Valentine, Senate President: "The tax cuts we're proposing right now are generally focusing on making the system equalized; in other words, to not have a large increase on someone so someone else gets a decrease."
Mike Jerman, Utah Taxpayers Association: "In order to prevent government from growing too rapidly, a tax cut is in order. And this tax cut, who knows 50-100 million or even more will grease any tax reform the legislature will look at this year."
Here's why lawmakers are in such a good tax cutting mood. This current year's budget surplus tops 120 million dollars right now in the general fund. Next year they're hoping for at least a 52-million dollar surplus. And there's about 120-million dollars in the rainy day fund right now. All that puts makes it easier to cut taxes than if things were tight.
But the Legislature still has a lot of work to do before anything like that becomes final.