While the Utah Senate has approved a $160 million, across-the-board income tax rate cut, lawmakers in the House are gearing up with their own proposals to add about $40 million to this year’s tax cut pot, which would bring the total to about $200 million.
One of the proposals, if approved, would create something Utah has never had before: an earned income tax credit, which would be targeted for low- and moderate-income working Utahns. The other would expand eligibility for Utah’s Social Security tax credit.
Both bills are being sponsored by House members. Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, is spearheading the effort to create a nonrefundable state earned income tax credit with HB307, which was publicly filed Wednesday. Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, is sponsoring HB53 to expand the state’s Social Security tax credit.
Legislative leaders from both the House and Senate have said the earned income tax credit and Social Security bills are the tax cut proposals that GOP caucus members most prefer.
Both bills have taken shape in those closed-door caucus meetings as Republican lawmakers have favored them as add-ons to an income tax rate cut — more so than Gov. Spencer Cox’s recommendation to give Utahns a tax cut in the form of a $160 million grocery tax credit, and definitely more than Democrats’ and poverty advocates’ preference to repeal the state’s portion of the sales tax on food.