Independent gubernatorial candidate Merrill Cook sees little value in Gov. Norm Bangerter's tax surplus refund plan or Democrat Ted Wildon's criticism of it.
Cook, in a speech before an Ogden group this week, said giving back $80 million to the taxpayers in the form of a cash rebate doesn't accomplish what should be done --create more jobs.
The state has an estimated $110 million surplus. Bangerter wants to give back $80 million in income tax surplus to the taxpayers who paid it-- 12.5 percent of each filer's income tax, with the minimum refund $10. He also suggests a permanent 5 percent reduction on state income taxes for federal income taxes paid. The governor has called a July 5 special session to decide the tax policy.
Wilson favors giving back the $80 million. But he opposes any permanent income tax cut now, saying that should be done in the January-February general session.
Cook said giving back the surplus now will be done in a manner that doesn't promote job growth.
He said the surplus should be kept and taxes permanently reduced accordingly. "That is the way you create jobs."
Cook proposes much broader and deeper tax cuts than Bangerter suggests for the income tax. "What our businesses and working men and women need is a consistent, long-term lower tax environment in which to build their economic futures," he said.
"My plan to use the surplus as a starting point for major permanent tax reduction over time is the only plan brought forth by the candidates that will spur Utah's economic growth." He believes his plan will create 25,000 new jobs, while Wilson's and Bangerter's tax rebate program will yield less than 10,000 new jobs.