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Utah’s governor says special session could happen on tax bill

Posted at 3:33 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 17:33:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Governor Gary Herbert said a special session on taxes could happen, if everything comes together.

Speaking to reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED, the governor signaled his support for some of the ideas under consideration. That included a proposed income tax cut, a sales tax on some services and a hike in the food tax (with credits for lower and middle-income Utahns).

“Tax equality, tax fairness and tax sustainability is the best tax policy. Rather than having a shotgun approach on the tax on food, I think the legislature is proposing a more rifled approach,” he said.

The governor expressed hesitation with the idea of removing the earmark on the income tax for education.

“I would support it if they find buy-in from educational stakeholders and they can show there’s a sustainable revenue stream for education,” he told reporters.

Lawmakers, concerned about a decline in tax revenues that pay for essential government services, have proposed some changes to the tax code including new taxes on some services. It’s faced public pushback at hearings on the proposals.

The legislature has scheduled a pair of hearings next month to outline those proposals with an eye toward a possible special session in December.

Watch the governor’s monthly news conference here: