I applaud Utah Legislature and Gov. Gary Herbert for delaying the proposed tax reform bill. The 260-page bill makes modifications to some 60 sections of our existing tax code, yet was introduced with only three weeks left in the session.
I’m no legislator, but I know the sausage-making process takes quite a while to flesh out such a substantial change. I understand the bill's motivation: The United States has an economy that is increasingly based on services — the Bureau of Economic Analysis puts the number at near 80 percent of GDP… back in 2009. While part of that sector is likely taxed already, our future is increasingly service oriented.
The tax code needs an update, but such a major shift needs time. Time to ensure the bill is written well, yes, but also time for the stakeholders of Utah to understand the implications of this change. Utah’s diverse public needs time to see how this bill will affect people’s lives. Critically, the legislature's fiscal note projects large decreases in the education fund, as large as $341 million per year. The bill needs work, and those changes need to come with input from the public to make sure Utah’s legislators and voters are aligned.
Landon Troester, Murray