Backers of initiative to increase school funding will seek both income and sales tax boost

May 31, 2017 (

If ultimately approved by voters, the petition would raise the state’s portion of the sales tax from 4.7 percent to 5.2 percent.

The local option sales taxes imposed by cities, towns, and counties would not be increased, neither would the transit district local option sales tax.

The petition, if approved, would raise the current 5 percent flat-rate income tax rate to 5.5 percent.

The corporate state income tax rate of 5 percent would not be increased.

Herbert and GOP lawmakers have argued that such increases could badly tip the basic triad tax rate system – a supposed “balance” of a three-legged stool of sales, income and property taxes.

However, as a Utah Foundation study showed last year, Utah’s state and local tax bases have been severely impacted over the last 20 or 30 years by lawmakers continually giving tax exemptions, deductions or credits to special interest groups.

The Foundation study found that the state income tax alone – having been changed over the last decade – is now furnishing more than $1 billion a year LESS than it otherwise would have to support public education.

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