Sen. Karl Swan, D-Tooele, is asking Gov. Norm Bangerter to consider using some of the state's $110 million tax surplus to enhance the small property tax breaks that the state offers to its poorest senior citizens.
Swan is asking Bangerter to consider providing more money to the "circuit breaker" tax abatement program on the agenda for the Legislature's special session on July 5.Swan said senior citizens now qualify for a tax abatement only if their household income is less than $10,000 a year. They receive different levels of tax relief depending on their income, but the most that the poorest may receive is about $600, he said.
Swan figures that an extra $1.6 million annually would be needed to help that program catch up with the inflation that has occurred since the program was last adjusted.
"It comes up every year and is delayed on second or third reading while we wait for final revenue projections. Then, of course, there is never enough money for the program," he said, adding that such money is there this year.