Tax Reform Takes Another Step Forward

Tax Reform Takes Another Step Forward

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Richard Piatt reporting Another important step tonight from Utah lawmakers, who are preparing to change the way we pay taxes.

Will you pay more or less when tax reform is all said and done? As of right now, the answer might be less, especially if lawmakers keep pushing to change the taxes people love to hate.

The timing has never been better---both politically and economically--to get rid of the sales tax on food. It might also be a good time to give you a break on your state income taxes and keep your favorite exemptions, too.

Good timing isn't a guarantee. But a powerful Legislative task force sent a strong message to the rest of the House and Senate. It favors--among other things--a flatter, reduced income tax and 'no more' sales tax on food.

Mike Jerman/ Utah Taxpayers Association: "Coming up with a tax system where there are no losers is practically impossible, unless it's coupled with a tax cut at the same time."

That's what the goal is. But there are still a lot of details to be sorted out.

For instance, what revenue replaces the food tax---about 220-million dollars? What will the rate of a 'flatter' income tax be, more or less out of your pay check? And: Is this year's 100-million dollar surplus enough to make it easier to make changes?

Legislator Roz McGee is an insider who's already asking those questions.

Rep. Roz McGee/ (D) Salt Lake City: "I think the legislature and the public need to understand how the pieces come together. And, bottom line, how we're going to continue to fund education and higher education."

But overall, there is tax reform optimism this holiday season. Especially about eliminating the food tax, which might even be the tax break everyone's looking for.

Rep. Merlynn Newbold/ (R) West Jordan: "I think originally people were skeptical of it. But as we continue to look at the numbers, it becomes easier and easier to do every day."

There are some business-friendly proposals in the tax reform package, too.

For a complete look at the tax reform proposals, click the link to the Legislative web site in the box above.

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