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Tax credit for working poor advances, but expected to die

Published March 11, 2013 5:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The House voted Monday to create a new state earned income tax credit to help the working poor — but its sponsor conceded it probably will die soon anyway.

The House voted 41-30 to pass HB197, and sent it to the Senate. But it would cost $22.5 million a year.

Its sponsor, Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, conceded that funding for it is not in the annual budget that has been nearly finalized — so the bill will likely be allowed to die without being enacted into law, although he is trying to find funding.

Hutchings said if people qualify for the federal earned income tax credit, they would also qualify under his bill for a small state tax credit — 5 percent of their federal credit. They would receive that amount even if they were not owed any state tax refund. However, they could only receive it for four years.

Hutchings said it would help those who work but are still in poverty, and not "those who have decided to sit back in the hammock of life and think they are done."

He said it sends the message that "if you work and are trying to climb out of that hole, we will drop a ladder in."