You may see net state tax cut, or hike

You may see net state tax cut, or hike (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV)- Utah Senate President, Wayne Niederhauser, can foresee a slight state income tax decrease, from 5% to 4.9%, in the wake of the federal tax cut---but the Legislature could boost taxes or fees in other areas.

“Do we get a net tax reduction or a net tax hike?” 2News asked on Thursday.

“That is yet to be seen,” Niederhauser replied. “All those are possibilities.”

Ideas at the Capitol could cost you.

A toll road is considered for a popular canyon drive, but tolls could be expanded for other roads.

Increases are possible on hotel room taxes, which out-of-staters and people from Utah could pay.

Maybe not now, but another Senate leader said something besides the gas tax could be coming to finance our roads.

“We may get to a point when we have to look at vehicle miles traveled,” Sen. Ralph Okerlund, Majority Leader, said. “We may have to some other way for vehicles to pay their way on our highways.”

John Valentine, chair of the Utah State Tax Commission, briefed lawmakers on the impact in Utah of the recently-passed federal tax cut.

The numbers are complicated, but Valentine said, under the federal measure, the “average Joe” in Utah---making about $70,000---can expect lower federal income taxes, but higher state income taxes. The net, he said, would still be a tax reduction.

“For people who might say the federal government cut taxes, you should cut taxes, you would say what?” 2News asked Sen. Okerlund.

“I would say if we can, we will.”

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