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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tax Reform Proposal

Governor Huntsman presented his proposal to the Tax Reform Task Force today. You can view his press release and supporting materials at http://www.utah.gov/governor/news/2005/news_10_05a_05.html.

There is a lot to like about this proposal. It would create a flatter simpler tax at a lower rate. There are also challenges. The proposed cap on dependency exemptions, for example, will have difficulty winning enough support in the legislature. However, at this point many members of the Task Force are optimistic.

We appreciate the hard work the governor and his staff have invested. Neil Ashdown and Mike Mower, particularly, have been stellar. The efforts of the governor’s tax advisors, also known as the “Brain Trust” (Gary Cornia, Keith Prescott, and Ray Nelson) have also been outstanding.

The Tax Reform Task Force will take up the proposal again on the 12th. In the meantime they have instructed legislative staff to begin working with the Governor’s tax advisors to produce a draft bill.

Senator Greg Bell also submitted a tax reform plan, for which the Task Force will take public comment on October 12th.

You can voice your perspective by contacting your legislator and attending any of the upcoming public meetings.


Blogger MurrayGOPMan said...

I'm a father of 4 who owns a home. I'm concerned that Governor Huntsman's tax reform proposal gives a financial disincentive to home ownership and my 4th child.

While I understand that it's possible for me to actually pay less in taxes than I currently do under the proposal, my concern is that it appears indisputable that I would pay less taxes be avoiding a home mortgage (were that I could afford to pay cash for my home) and not having a 4th child.

Home ownership carries its own costs and tax burden by way of property tax and other fees. Children carry their own financial cost and, for most of us, additional tax burden by way of public school and other fees.

It seems appropriate to me that the state has an interest in my ability to raise my children to be productive members of society. Certainly raising upstanding, contributing members of society certainly should be seen at the same level of state interest as my donating excess funds to charity. Is this tax plan telling me that the state of Utah only feels it has an interest in my first 3 children, but not my 4th?

Without getting lost in the twisting and turning of actual dollars and cents arguments, my very simplistic concern is that the proposal seems to be rewarding citizen behavior against home ownership and seems to be trying to set a precedent of ideal, state promoted family size.

10/06/2005 7:56 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I would love to see a flat tax. Though I doubt any such tax will ever pass. As the first posts points out, too many people have their fingers in the loophole pie for the thing to every pass.

BTW, people living in apartments and hotels see a much higher percent of their living expenses going to taxes than home owners.

The real truth is that government spending is so out of control that taxes are necessarily high, we all feel the pinch. Unfortunately, the neocon world where modern republicans (Cato.org) outspend LBJ means it will be political impossible to pass tax reform.

10/11/2005 12:35 PM  

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