LAKE SALT CITY – Only 30% of Utah voters support the amendment of the state constitution to remove the requirement that all income from income tax is only spent on education, a key element of the legislative reform efforts of the legislation. by new poll.
At the same time, 50% against the language in the Utah Constitution which defines all personal and corporate income taxes for higher and public education, received the poll for UtahPolicy.com, and 20% said they did not support the proposal. .
The question was put in the Utah Political Trends poll, made for online political news source at Y2 Analytics July 21-August. 6, of 1,017 Utah registered voters. The results have a margin of error plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Constitutional amendments require the approval of voters, so the findings on how the wind-up ends in the tax reform proposals arising from a legislative task force tasked with finding a way to tackle it questions questions. the growth of sales tax revenue.
Members of the Tax and Equalization Restructuring Task Force are expected to discuss the proposed constitutional amendment at their next meeting on 5 September, and it is likely that there will be a total of five sessions to review options which also include the tax. restoring total sales of new food and taxes on services.
“We are considering everything,” including the amendment, said Majority Francis Francis, R-Mapleton, co-chair of the tax force, issuing the issue of the poll because he did not want to release funding for needs. other states.
“It focused mainly on the possibility of removing education money. Almost no one will respond positively to that. That's the problem with polls, ”Gibson said. “Do you think people would have health care? Duh. Can. Would you like to take education funding away? Duh. Ref.
He said that “the task force has the greatest budgetary flexibility in funding education, transport, water, law enforcement, the National Guard, social services and other state needs, and is itself called on. one of the “biggest cheerleaders” for education funding.
However, the majority leader said, “income must work for everyone in every sector.”
When asked if he believes the voters would support the amendment, he said that the public would like schools to receive funding as well as the needs of another state and that they are “tired of the government also raising their money.” T
Representative Joel Briscoe, a former educator who attends the task force, said he was not surprised by the number of votes because Utahns has long stated that they support increased investment in public education. It is considered that in the opposite direction the constitutional sign will be raised.
“I think most people would suggest it is a reduction in support for public education,” said Salt Lake Democrat. And while Briscoe is not sure that this is a fair assessment at this point, he said that “reality is one of the political rules.”
The Utah Educational Association commander called a resolution that arose during the last days of the 2019 Legislation to promote constitutional reform to enable income tax income to be used for social service programs. SJR3 was passed in the Seanad but never heard in the House.
Briscoe said that the proposed amendment could be the last session to mark things to come. He is also concerned about the reduction of the state income tax rate, which is set to offset additional sales taxes if the total state sales tax was re-established for food and / or taxation of new services.
The last $ 75 million session was set aside by the law for an unspecified tax cut, establishing the task force following the destruction of a domestic tax reform bill which would place sales taxes on a wide range of services, from hair cuts to legal advice and public business objections. .
LaVarr Webb, publisher of UtahPolicy.com, said that the results of the “strong opposition” poll show constitutional change and underlines the political dilemma facing lawmakers in rebalancing state revenues. , particularly as the state continues to report budget surpluses.
The recent $ 97 million forecast for the recently completed budget year comes from a major unforeseen jump in income tax collections which was offset by a shortfall in revenue growth for sales taxes that fund the bulk of state expenditure outside education.
Next year is also an election year for all members of the state House and half of the state Senate, making it harder to talk about. Legislative leaders and Gov Gary Herbert suggested dealing with tax reform in a special session this fall, but it is not clear that the task force will be ready to make recommendations.
The voters have “come to understand the income tax that goes to education and do not support the removal of that consideration. I feel politically difficult, ”said Webb. “I think the education community would campaign against it. The message, you are taking money from education. ”
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