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Richard Piatt ReportingTax reform and tuition tax credits are among the issues gaining momentum on Utah's Capitol Hill this week.
Tuition Tax Credit supporters call it 'school choice', and a new version of it is being unveiled at the state capitol. Representative Jim Ferrin's update is already gaining momentum. The bill now includes 'means testing', in addition to the familiar aspects of giving a $2,000 a year tax credit to parents who use private schools.
Rep. Jim Ferrin/(R) Orem: "We now have a means-weighted credit where we're giving a greater credit for families of lower economic means, a lesser credit for families of higher economic means, and phasing it out all together for wealthy families."
Public education advocates plan to fight the bill once again. The business community is applauding a phase-out of corporate franchise income taxes, which passed a House committee. Part of Governor Huntsman's priorities package, the bill would reduce the tax burden on corporations, with the goal of attracting more employers to the Utah.
Mike Jerman, Utah Taxpayers Association: "There are 49 other states and 100 other countries out there trying to attract the same jobs. And having a sound tax climate that's business friendly is important toward attracting capitol to our state."
This week lawmakers are also dabbling in public safety. A House committee gazed at pictures of an accident involving an SUV and a so-called mini-motorcycle'. The little vehicles are increasingly popular, but present significant problems.
Val Shupe, South Ogden Police Chief: "Not only are they causing problems with regard to the height, but they're also noisy. And they're also causing a problem with that regard."
The bill also requires minors on motorized scooters be supervised by an adult. This House committee sent the bill to the full House, along with dozens of others today.
The Tuition Tax Credit proposal has not been scheduled for a hearing yet, but it is expected to spark another round of fierce debate.