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Davis Journal

Tax relief bills put money back into the hands of Utahns

Mar 01, 2021 10:41AM ● By Becky Ginos

SALT LAKE CITY—Lawmakers detailed legislation on Monday that would provide approximately $100 million in tax relief for citizens of the state. 

“We’ve tried to find a balance and holistic approach to COVID-19 and because of that we’ve been able to maintain a great economy,” said Senate President J. Stuart Adams during a press conference at the Capitol. “Utah has done better than most other states. We hear of states like Hawaii that have talked about furloughing teachers and New York and California’s budget deficits. Today we want to put money back into the hands of Utahns that need it most. Specifically, Utah families, veterans and seniors.”

The legislature is dedicated to assisting them, he said. “We know this group is vital to our community. Today we’re going to do more for Utah families by restoring the state dependent exemption, we’re going to do more for seniors by eliminating the income tax on Social Security and we’re going to do more for veterans by reducing individual income tax.”

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, said Adams. “We know many in the state are still struggling and we have not forgotten you and we will not forget you. We are committed to help all Utahns and will continue to work tirelessly to support our communities. I believe our best days are still ahead of us.”

Anthony Niel, accompanied by his wife and three young children spoke about what the dependent tax exemption means for his family. “I want to applaud the legislature for correcting federal policy that’s hurt families like ours. With this tax cut, a family with three kids just like my own, our state income tax will go down by $200.”

The work that the legislature has done to restore more of the dependent exemption that was reduced in the federal tax reform will be a boost to families, Niel said. “It goes to show that the legislature understands what kind of effort goes into raising kids and the importance of strong families to our economy.”

“About a year and a half ago I retired as a Senior master sergeant with the Utah Air National Guard of the United States Air Force,” said Mario Reeve. “I’m very proud to call Utah home. The men and women who serve do it for a variety of reasons. We don’t do it to get rich. Across the board we do it because we love our country and we’re eager to stand in defense of our national values and freedom wherever it is threatened.”

Until this year, Utah was one of only a few states that taxed fully retired military income, Reeve said. “I applaud the legislature for recognizing the service of so many who have served and now call Utah home. Reducing the individual tax on retired military income is a great way to show our veterans that we value the many benefits that they provide to our state.”

Lou Carroll explained what eliminating the tax on Social Security means for him. “I’m 69 years old and I’ve been retired for six years,” he said. “I worked for over 45 years contributing to Social Security and I was depending on that money to retire. Obviously, eliminating the state tax on Social Security would be a great benefit to people who are in my situation. That term ‘fixed income’ really comes home. You go to a grocery store or to buy gas and they don’t care that you’ve got a fixed income.”

House Bill 86 Social Security Amendments is a Godsend, said Carroll. “I’m grateful for these people who granted the bill and pushed it through. To them I say thank you – I mean really thank you.”