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Catholic Diocese of SLC urges people to call lawmakers against raising the food tax

Posted at 11:08 AM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 13:08:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City is urging people to contact lawmakers and object to the idea of raising the food tax in Utah.

“The Sales Tax on Food is not a math problem, it is a moral problem,” the Diocese said in an email to members across Utah.

The Diocese complained that raising the tax on food would significantly harm seniors, the disabled, rural Utahns and people experiencing homelessness. The faith’s reaction is one of the strongest since lawmakers floated the idea last week.

Lawmakers, faced with declining revenues that pay for essential government services, have proposed a series of tax reforms, including a cut to the income tax, raising the food tax and a sales tax on some services. They have also faced some public pushback, but have moved forward with the ideas with an eye toward a December special session.

The Coalition of Religious Communities, a low-income advocacy group made up of some smaller faith groups in Utah, have also objected to the food tax hike. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah’s dominant religion, said it has no position on the proposed tax.

Federal law says faith groups can weigh in on social issues without fear of losing their tax-exempt status, just not political candidates.