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A Boost for Education

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Public education in Utah could receive a $90-million boost in funding by adoption of a proposal put forth by two state lawmakers.

State representatives Pat Jones, a democrat, and Steven Mascaro, a republican, suggest overhauling the state’s personal income tax system. They want to make it more progressive by expanding tax brackets. And they’re proposing a graduated elimination of exemptions for dependents living at home.

A preliminary version of the bipartisan Jones/Mascaro bill received a lot of attention last legislative session. It didn’t pass, however. Since then, they’ve been refining the idea - as they say, "softening" the impact of taking away the tax credit given for dependents living at home.

What they’ve come up with, KSL finds intriguing.

Through polls, Utahns have repeatedly expressed a willingness to pay more in taxes, if they can be assured the money would be used to benefit kids and not to expand government.

In its early form, that’s what the Jones/Mascaro proposal would appear to do, in a relatively painless way.

KSL urges Utahns to become familiar with the Jones/Mascaro Education Funding Bill. While the legislative session is still months away, and the measure is yet to be formalized, it seems to be one of the most creative education funding proposals to come along in years.

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