State of Utah Archives: on Tax Reform


Kamala Harris: We won't raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000

HARRIS: Joe Biden will not raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year. He has been very clear about that. Joe Biden will not end fracking, he has been very clear about that. Joe Biden is the one who, during the Great Recession was responsible for the Recovery Act that brought America back. And now the Trump-Pence administration wants to take credit when they rode the coattails of Joe Biden's success for the economy that they had at the beginning of their term. On the other hand, you have Donald Trump who has reigned over a recession that is being compared to the Great Depression.

PENCE: [Biden] said he's going to repeal the Trump tax cuts. Joe Biden has said it twice in the debate last week that he's going to repeal the Trump tax cuts. That was tax cuts that gave the average working family $2,000 in a tax break every single year.

Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah Oct 7, 2020

Kamala Harris: Americans deserve transparency on president's taxes

Joe Biden has been transparent. The President has not. We now know that Donald Trump paid $750 in taxes. When I first heard about it, I literally said, "You mean $750,000?" And it was like no, $750. We now know Donald Trump is in debt for $400 million. It'd be really good to know who the President of the United States owes money to because the American people have a right to know what is influencing the President's decisions.
Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah Oct 7, 2020

Mike Pence: Trump tax cuts give $2,000 to average family

PENCE: [Biden] said he's going to repeal the Trump tax cuts. Joe Biden has said it twice in the debate last week that he's going to repeal the Trump tax cuts. That was tax cuts that gave the average working family $2,000 in a tax break every single year.

HARRIS: Joe Biden will not raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $400,000 a year. He has been very clear about that. Joe Biden will not end fracking, he has been very clear about that. Joe Biden is the one who, during the Great Recession was responsible for the Recovery Act that brought America back. And now the Trump-Pence administration wants to take credit when they rode the coattails of Joe Biden's success for the economy that they had at the beginning of their term. On the other hand, you have Donald Trump who has reigned over a recession that is being compared to the Great Depression.

Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah Oct 7, 2020

Aimee Winder Newton: State must step up, rural areas can't afford property taxes

I am not opposed, as long as there is a comprehensive plan in place to fund education. The structural imbalance is real, but we cannot tackle tax reform without a conversation about budget reform that begins with public ed as a priority. We need to invest in teacher salaries today and we can do so without a tax increase. We have rural communities that cannot afford to balance their education budgets through property taxes. The state needs to step up.
Source: UtahPolicy.com on 2020 Utah gubernatorial race Mar 18, 2020

Jeff Burningham: Reduce waste, unnecessary spending for meaningful tax cut

I think more flexibility is a good thing so that we can be smart about spending and make sure we get things right and not rush into tax reform that may hurt people. Most importantly, we need to look at spending. Our state budget has grown nearly 50% since 2015! As governor, I'll reduce waste and unnecessary spending so we can give a meaningful tax cut to Utah families who are the industrious ones who have generated the surplus we are now enjoying in the first place.
Source: UtahPolicy.com on 2020 Utah gubernatorial race Mar 18, 2020

Jon Huntsman: Education funding is critical to long-term prosperity

Tax reform is a significant undertaking that requires vision and gubernatorial leadership. Education funding is critical to our long-term prosperity as a state, so the effort to strengthen safeguards for funding students is a commendable element of the legislature's proposal. I will always fight for the very best outcome for our students and teachers, just as I did as governor.
Source: UtahPolicy.com on 2020 Utah gubernatorial race Mar 18, 2020

Jeff Burningham: Before we modernize tax code, we need to review spending

The people of Utah have ensured we don't have a revenue problem in this state, but we do have a spending problem. Discretionary spending has grown by more than 30% over the past five years. How many Utahns have seen a 30% increase in their income? As governor, I'll do a top-to-bottom review of government and eliminate waste. Before we modernize the tax code, we need to modernize our spending.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune on 2020 Utah gubernatorial race Jan 29, 2020

Jeff Burningham: Cut waste before imposing new taxes

We absolutely do not have a revenue problem in Utah. Here's a simple but game-changing idea: before imposing new taxes on the people of Utah, let's do a top-to-bottom review of government and cut waste. Then we'll know how much revenue we actually need. State government spending does not need to grow at the same rate as our economy. We can find ways to be more efficient with tax dollars. Low taxes encourage businesses to grow and allow Utahns to keep more of their hard-earned money.
Source: 2020 Utah gubernatorial campaign website JeffBurningham.com Jan 6, 2020

Jeff Burningham: Focus on taxpayer impact, not government revenue

I believe the first question should never be, "How does tax policy impact government revenue?" Instead, the first question should be, "How does tax policy impact the people of Utah?" We should not raise taxes, especially when 1) we're experiencing large budget surpluses, and 2) government spending has grown 30% in the past five years.
Source: Deseret News on 2020 Utah gubernatorial race Nov 9, 2019

Spencer Cox: Reliance on property tax hurting rural areas

He said housing prices are concerning to voters and said the lack of industry in rural areas, coupled with a tax base that heavily relies on property taxes rather than other sorts of revenues, makes it difficult for people who grow up in those areas to remain there. "There is a widening gap, unfortunately, that's happening we see that especially in rural Utah where the education gap people are losing out."
Source: Summit County Park Record on 2020 Utah gubernatorial race Jun 4, 2019

Gary Herbert: Broaden tax base & cut rates by 64%

All the goods and services that make up our modern economy should contribute to our tax base. As we broaden the tax base, we will slash the state sales tax rate. We will cut it by 64 percent from 4.85 percent to a mere 1.75 percent. That is a tax cut of $225 million, especially benefitting lower and middle income families. This would mean that nearly nine out of ten taxpayers will pay less sales tax tomorrow than they pay today.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Utah legislature Jan 30, 2019

Craig Bowden: Lower taxes for everyone

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Higher taxes on the wealthy"?

A: Lower taxes for everyone.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Utah Senate candidate Feb 28, 2018

Jenny Wilson: Reform tax code to narrow income gap, not benefit top 1%

Conservatives claim the [December 2017 tax] bill provides the largest tax cut in US history and is good for the American middle class. Critics of the legislation, including Wilson, however, say only the top 1 percent of Americans and large corporations will get the most relief.

Wilson said Congress's rare rewrite of the tax code was a missed opportunity to simplify the tax system and narrow the ever-widening U.S. income gap. Perhaps the bill's biggest flaw, Wilson said, is the legacy of new federal debt it leaves to the nation's children over the next 10 years.

Were she already in Congress, Wilson would have never voted for the tax bill, which she said was drafted in secret and rushed through without public hearings. The bill may in fact have some benefits--like breaks for small business owners, Wilson said. She added that she would support tax reform that makes sense. "But most of this does not," she said.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune on 2018 Utah Senate race Dec 21, 2017

Orrin Hatch: You can't argue with math: tax cuts for vast majority

Jenny Wilson, the Democrat seeking to unseat Sen. Orrin Hatch, says the massive tax reform bill the Republican pushed through Congress this week is a gift for only the wealthiest.

Congress passed a $1.4 trillion overhaul of the U.S. tax code. Hatch played a major role in its drafting and shepherded the legislation through to passage. Conservatives claim the bill provides the largest tax cut in U.S. history and is good for the American middle class.

"You can't argue with math," Hatch said in a statement responding to Wilson's criticisms. "Studies from both left-leaning and right-leaning groups show that this historic legislation will lead to tax cuts for the vast majority of Utahns, with the largest cuts coming focused on the middle class. It is shocking that anyone would argue that working families in Utah should pay higher taxes."

Critics of the legislation, including Wilson, however, say only the top 1% of Americans and large corporations will get the most relief.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune on 2018 Utah Senate race Dec 21, 2017

John Curtis: Cut taxes; simplify system

Plain and simple, we tax too much and our tax code is too complicated. To be clear on where I stand, let me say that again; we tax too much and our tax code is too complicated. Our tax system hurts American citizens, businesses and society as a whole. With Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and Presidency, we have a precious opportunity to create a simpler and fairer tax code. We had this opportunity before as Republicans and wasted it. It will take some out-of-the-box ideas, courage and leadership but we cannot let this opportunity slip through our fingers again.
Source: 2017 Utah House campaign website JohnCurtis.org Aug 17, 2017

Mike Weinholtz: Convert 5% flat tax rate to progressive tax & raise $179M

A balanced budget is important for the good of the state and, as a successful business owner, I know how devastating high tax rates can be for business and families. However, cutting taxes year after year has had a disastrous effect on our schools, roads, public works, and social services. In 2007, Utah moved from a progressive tax to a 5% flat tax, costing us $479 million each year. Without an educated workforce, safe roads, efficient water systems, and safe communities, businesses will not want to set up shop in Utah--and that is not a Utah I want to live in.

As governor, I propose an income tax increase for the top 1.5% of all Utahns (including myself): a 1% increase for those households earning between $250,000 and $1 million a year and 2% for those earning over $1 million. This small change will bring nearly $179 million to our schools.

Source: 2016 Utah gubernatorial campaign website MikeForUtah.com Jun 17, 2016

Jonathan Johnson: I will not raise taxes as governor

I oppose new taxes and, as governor, I will not raise taxes. Last year, I voted against Prop 1 in Salt Lake County. Utahns deserve a break from ever increasing taxes. I will actively look to shrink government, not expand it. I will look for ways to reduce taxes, including corporate income tax and income taxes on military and social security benefits.
Source: 2016 Utah gubernatorial campaign website HireJJ.com Feb 2, 2016

Mia Love: Vote against all net tax increases

The federal tax code is too cumbersome and complex to navigate. Moreover, the federal government needs to reduce its spending rather than take more hard-earned money from American workers. These are my proposals to fix the broken tax system:
Source: 2014 Utah House campaign website, Love4Utah.com Aug 8, 2014

Dan Liljenquist: Broaden the base; prefer FairTax

While Dan's preference is for a fair tax, he will actively advocate for any bill that broadens the base, lowers the rate and stops the game of playing favorites. Big companies should not be getting long-term tax breaks because they have better lobbyists. Dan has received the Utah Taxpayer's Association "Taxpayer Advocate of the Year" award in both 2010 and 2011 because of his work on pension and Medicaid reform.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, danforutah.com May 24, 2012

Gary Herbert: Don't stifle citizens & businesses with new tax burdens

We must balance our budget responsibly, and in a way that does not stifle an economy that is finally beginning to show signs of recovery. We need to support our hard-working citizens and businesses, not stifle them with new tax burdens. We need to help them succeed, not hamper their success. And we need to think toward the future, not just of today. I strongly believe the best thing we can do for our citizens and our economic recovery is to exercise continued fiscal restraint and to not raise taxes!
Source: Utah 2010 State of the State Address Jan 26, 2010

Chuck Baldwin: 10% tax on all imports into the US, and no other tax

Baldwin would repeal the income tax, and in return implement a 10% tax on all imports into the US. In addition, Baldwin would drastically cut federal spending.

“Basically, the only difference between the Republicans and the Democrats today is that the Democrats want to tax and spend, and the Republicans want to borrow and spend,” Baldwin said. “But both of them want to spend. They spend like drunken sailors, except that’s an insult to sailors because at least sailors are spending their own money.”

Source: Charles Geraci in The Herald Journal, Cache Valley, Utah Jul 5, 2008

Jon Huntsman: Historically high tax burden is now below national average

Thanks to the entrepreneurs, innovators and hard-workers of our State, personal income rose nearly ten percent last year, outperforming every state in the nation.

Our historically high tax burden is now below the national average. And we have the lowest tax rate since the implementation of the State income tax. Thank you members of the Legislature; you passed tax reform unanimously last session, and this month, it is a reality!

Source: Utah 2008 State of the State address Jan 22, 2008

Jon Huntsman: Removed half of the sales tax on food

Last year, together with the Legislature, we removed half of the State portion of sales tax on food and took an initial step in adopting a flatter, fairer, income tax that will help Utah keep its competitive edge. We established a dual tax system, now recognized nationally, that gives individual taxpayers the choice of either paying under our old income tax system or simply paying a flat 5.35 percent in income taxes. As a result of this action, every Utahn will receive income tax relief.
Source: Utah 2007 State of the State address Jan 16, 2007

Jon Huntsman: Restructure taxes to be more business-friendly

Source: Gubernatorial website, www.utah.gov/governor/ Nov 11, 2006

Orrin Hatch: Cut capital gains taxes to allow better retirement planning

We need to help folks better plan for their own retirements. I will continue to work on cutting capital gains taxes, which eat into everyone’s savings and investments.
Source: Speech to the 12th Annual Utah Seniors Conference May 10, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Utah Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Tax Reform.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 29, 2021