That is true, and may sound small. But Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, notes that the actual tax increase everyone would face is 17.5 percent.
His HB255 would require language describing a tax change on the ballot to use a percentage of the taxes charged, not the rate.
"It prevents what I believe is gamesmanship by showing either a decimal place or fraction that may not tell the whole story about what the tax increase is," he told the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.
That committee unanimously passed the bill, and sent it to the full House. No one spoke against it at the Monday hearing.
"We see this as transparency for the taxpayer," said Billy Hesterman, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association. "It is an appropriate way to give the taxpayer a full understanding of what is being presented to them."
"More information is better," said House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City. "It will give us a better likelihood of understanding the proposal."
Meanwhile, Hughes told the Tribune, "I don't see a strong appetite in the House for a tax increase" of any sort, including for education.
"We don't think raising the income tax will drive more economic development or economic expansion to our state," he said. "Most states that are trying to find stronger economic activity are trying to lower their state income tax. We'd be going the other way."
Gov. Gary Herbert has raised similar concerns several times. Hughes said the House will look at reforms that could increase revenues, such as collecting more owed-but-uncollected tax on internet sales, or removing some current tax credits and deductions.
"We're going to look at that," he said. "There's an outside chance that if we could land on some smart reforms, we may pursue it even this year."
But he said House leaders would commit to studying seriously in interim sessions through the year how better to fund schools and reform the tax system.
"We know that minimally, we'll commit it to interim to a real study of our tax base and how we collect it. Is there a smarter way to strengthen it?" he said. "We might night need to look at our tax structure ... so that there isn't ideas we wouldn't like that are coming forward like this."
Leaders of the Our Schools Now effort point to Utah's last-in-the-nation per-pupil funding and warn of the long-term consequences of shortchanging education.
"Right now, Utah students are learning with fewer resources than ever. Because of past budget decisions, schools are operating with $1.2 billion less, this year alone," the group says on its website, referring to an income tax rate cut in the early 2000s and an earlier constitutional amendment that allowed the income tax to go to colleges and universities as well as kindergarten-12th grade. "This results in burdensome classroom sizes, stagnant student learning and most importantly, reduced opportunities for our children. Our Schools Now makes an investment in Utah kids today in order provide an exceptional education our students need for the future."