In 2004, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., along with current Governor Gary Herbert, made a campaign promise to reduce and eventually eliminate sales tax on food. This would directly benefit lower income families in Utah — especially children.
It was a good idea then, as it is now. More than 30 states exempt tax on most foods, and others, including Utah, have reduced food taxes. In fact, only two states — Alabama and Mississippi — currently tax food at the full sales tax rate. Neither state is a leader in education.
To pledge to fund education with higher taxes on food puts children in the cross hairs. Utah needs to do as the majority of states have done: eliminate food tax completely and find other ways to fund education and meet other tax needs. It should not come down to a choice between food or an education for the children of Utah.