Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Utah Republican Party Raises Taxes

Faced with budget surpluses and a desire to help business owners, the Utah Republican Party last week decided to increase taxes on everybody who buys items in Utah.

Deseret News (posted Thursday afternoon):

Members of the House and Senate Republican caucuses have just endorsed a .05 percent sales tax hike to fund fixes to some state roads.

The increase is being called a "tax shift," because it would offset over $20 million in very targeted tax cuts. The largest of those cuts would provide an $18 million tax break to Utahns who buy their own health insurance because they are self-employed, while another measure would give Delta Air Lines and other carriers about $50,000 in tax relief.

"It's really rather straight-forward," said House Speaker Greg Curtis, R-Sandy. "It involves a tax shift instead of a tax cut."

I'm sorry to say this Speaker Curtis, but unless the corresponding cut help all Utah families, you just voted for a tax increase.

Thanks, Republicans.



Andrea said...


Isn't the health insurance tax break for *individuals* who have to pay for their own insurance? If this is the case, how is this a *business* tax cut?

Giving tax breaks to individuals who buy their own health insurance is fair because employer-paid health insurance is written off as a business expense and is not taxable to the individual. Those who buy their own insurance have to do it with after-tax dollars.

I don't understand why you would be opposed to correcting this inequity.

Bob said...

It's only available to people who own their own businesses.

Most people who have to buy their own insurance are not self-employed.


Andrea said...

Not true. It's for people who are *self-insured*, which is not the same as *self-employed*.

The D-News got it wrong when they said it was for self-employed. The Trib got it right by saying it was the self-insured.


If you read the bill itself, it does not say it is restricted to self-employed. In fact, it says in lines 591 to 596

"A claimant may not claim a tax credit under this section if the claimant is eligible to participate in insurance offered under a health benefit plan maintained and funded in whole or in part by: (a) the claimant's employer; or
b) another person's employer."

Notice that the bill DOESN'T say a claim is ineligible if they are employed by a company but rather if they are employed by a company that already offers a health insurance plan.

Therefore, if you are employed by a company that does not offer insurance (and you have a tax liability) you are eligible.