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Cox floats possibility of tax cuts next year

Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 19:32:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox floated the possibility of tax cuts next year as residents deal with rising costs and state leaders try to ward off inflation.

Asked about the topic at his monthly news conference, the governor said the idea was very preliminary and he has not yet met with Republican legislative leaders about it.

"I think there is room for tax relief this coming session. We haven’t had those direct conversations yet," Gov. Cox told reporters.

The governor did declare that inflation was "the worst kind of tax on the poor." He also reiterated his longstanding opposition to the sales tax on food.

"I want to look at where inflation is hitting the hardest, what that looks like and where we can help the most people. Those things matter," he said. "We do still have some tax on food."

The legislature did pass some tax cuts earlier this year, restoring the dependent exemption and eliminating taxes on Social Security and military retirement income. Previous efforts by the legislature to overhaul taxes in the state have backfired.

The legislature last year was forced to repeal a massive bill it passed in 2019 that lowered some taxes and raised others (including the sales tax on food) in the face of a citizen referendum that was about to appear on the ballot.