GOP House members won't pledge to no tax increase

GOP House members won't pledge to no tax increase

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Republican lawmakers in the Utah House of Representatives are not interested in signing a pledge to avoid tax hikes.

Republicans in the state Senate have passed around a sheet to sign, pledging no tax increases in the upcoming legislative session.

The 53 GOP members of the House met behind closed doors Monday. House Speaker Dave Clark, R-Santa Clara, tells the Deseret News most who were in the caucus don't want to raise taxes, but they say it's too early to make that decision.

House Majority Leader Kevin Garn, R-Layton, says committing not to increase taxes before the legislative session even begins has hurt in previous years.

Clark says GOP leaders generally like Gov. Gary Herbert's $11.3 billion budget proposal, which calls for a combination of cuts, borrowing instead of paying cash for roads, tapping into the rainy day fund a bit, and preserving what's important. But they anticipate some possible changes, which could include policy questions on taxes such as the state's tobacco tax.

The leaders expect decisions to come possibly in late February when tax revenue forecasts are updated and lawmakers have had time to debate those policy questions.

The 45-day general legislative session begins Jan. 25.

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