Regional News: Utah governor signals he will sign major tax changes

By Ben Winslow | Fox 13

Governor Gary Herbert has signaled he will sign a bill that makes major changes to Utah’s tax code, cutting the income tax but also raising the taxes on food, fuel and some services.

“I commend th legislature for their courage and forward thinking in working to address the difficult issue of tax reform. The bill they passed this evening takes measurable steps toward improving the stability and equity of our tax system. We have meaningful work yet remaining. However, these steps will improve the future of our state and its people. I look forward to signing it,” he said in a statement.

The legislature passed the tax reform bill in special session on Thursday night. It offers $160 million in income tax cuts. Lawmakers also implemented a hike on the sales tax on food, raising the tax on gasoline and taxing some services like streaming media, ride shares, pet grooming and even dating services.

Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have argued that the tax reform was necessary to address a budget imbalance. The income tax is earmarked for education only. Sales tax, which has not seen the same level of growth as the income tax, pays for a lot of government services. They have argued that what passed is an overall benefit for Utah families by offering an overall tax cut.

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