Dear Business Community,
With four business days left in the 2020 Legislative Session, significant policy decisions including, taxes, budget, infrastructure and housing are still pending.
Legislators have continued to work to address the revenue imbalance in the state budget caused by the constitutional dedication of income tax to education. This week, the Legislature introduced a new proposal to address this issue. The proposal includes several different pieces, including:
1 Sub SJR 9, Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – Tax Increase Requirements, sponsored by Senator Dan McCay. This joint resolution would create a constitutional proposal for voters to address during the November election, and will add language to the constitution to allow income tax to support “children and to support individuals with a disability” in addition to public and higher education. This constitutional amendment will move funding to support children and individuals with a disability from the General Fund and instead fund those areas with income tax revenue.
Additionally, Representative Robert Spendlove has proposed 1 Sub HB 357, Public Education Funding Stabilization. This substitute bill automatically adjusts education funding for enrollment growth and inflation, guaranteeing an increase in education funding each year. Additionally, it creates an ongoing public education budget stabilization account to ensure that, at a minimum, this increase in funding can occur every year.
As the Salt Lake Chamber held multiple focus groups over the interim to discuss possible changes to Utah’s tax code, we made several significant recommendations. Specifically, we recommend that the Legislature:
- Consider addressing the imbalance caused by the constitutional restriction placed on income tax.
- Prioritize and increase education funding.
- Avoid taxing business inputs and tax pyramiding.
As this proposal accomplishes all of these things, the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Directors supports this proposal. We also appreciate the time that this proposal allows for voters to consider and study this issue and decide whether these bills become law. We are grateful to the Legislature and their willingness to continue to work on this very difficult and very important issue.
Also of interest is SB 233, Post-Employment Restriction Amendments, sponsored by Senator Kirk Cullimore. We know this issue is of great concern to the business community and we have appreciated hearing from many of you. The sponsor of the bill asked to have the bill held in committee this week and will include the business community in the discussion over the interim.
One of our remaining priority bills is SB 39, Affordable Housing Amendments sponsored by Senator Jake Anderegg. This week SB 39 passed out of committee favorably and has moved to the House Floor. We want to thank Senator Anderegg and Representative Potter for their dedication to this bill and this significant issue and thank all of you who have spoken with your senators and supported this bill.
This bill addresses our state’s housing shortage and will support children of families across the state who are at risk of homelessness and provide gap financing of private activity bond-financed rental housing and assistance with pre-development costs for affordable housing projects in rural Utah. While this is not the only answer to Utah’s housing shortage it is one of many efforts that the Salt Lake Chamber supports to meet the housing needs of our workforce and community. The remaining obstacle for this bill is the significant funding request that it includes. This is a significant request and we appreciate that this issue is high on the priority list. Use this link to contact your legislator and show your support for SB 39.
As always, please reach out to our team if you have questions or information related to any legislation. Your input is valuable as we speak on behalf of our members, and we are here to answer any questions you may have as well as to help you connect with your legislators and other policy leaders.
Salt Lake Chamber Policy Team
|H.B. 68||Apprenticeship and Work-based Learning Amendments||Rep. Gibson||Priority|
|H.B. 99||Enhanced Kindergarten Amendments||Rep. Snow||Priority|
|H.B. 158||Data Privacy Amendments||Rep. Roberts||Priority|
|H.B. 259||Electric Vehicle Charging Network||Rep. Spendlove||Priority|
|H.B. 299||Opportunity Zone Enhancements||Rep. Winder||Priority|
|H.B. 396||Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Amendments||Rep. Snow||Priority|
|H.J.R. 13||Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution – State Board of Education||Rep. Ballard||Priority|
|S.B. 26||Water Banking Amendments||Sen. Iwamoto||Priority|
|S.B. 39||Affordable Housing Amendments||Sen. Anderegg||Priority|
|S.B. 51||Secondary Water Requirements||Sen. Anderegg||Priority|
|S.B. 69||Tax Credit for Educator Expenses||Sen. Anderegg||Priority|
|S.B. 95||Economic Development Amendments||Sen. Sandall||Priority|
|S.B. 150||Transportation Governance and Funding Amendments||Sen. Harper||Priority|
Bills Worth Watching