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Senate settles on income tax cut, looks to expand internet access across Utah

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 18:12:08-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Senate has settled on a proposed income tax cut.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Senate Republican leaders said they were looking to advance a bill that cuts the income tax rate from 4.95% to 4.85%. A bill to do just that could appear in a legislative committee as early as Wednesday. Senate leadership suggested the House of Representatives might be inclined to go along with it.

As for Governor Spencer Cox's proposed food tax credit for lower-income Utahns? It's still being discussed, said Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City.

Meanwhile, Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, who is the Senate's budget chief, announced on Monday they had identified $290 million in new, ongoing money (which can fund things like wages) and more than $1 billion in "one-time" funding. Already, he said, there was a long list of requests for that spending.

A lot of the money comes from federal stimulus dollars, so lawmakers will use it to fund infrastructure projects including water conservation measures and increasing broadband internet access across the state.

"I think you’ll see significant increases in funding in rural areas and the objective is to get broadband to every corner of the state. Get it past every door if we can. That’s the future and where we need to be," Sen. Stevenson said.

Added Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton: "That’s probably the biggest component of the infrastructure bill that congress passed. We may get $600 to 800 million of broadband money."