SALT LAKE CITY — A House committee has endorsed a bill that creates a tax credit for college tuition and fees, a measure the sponsor says is an attempt to encourage more Utahns to go to college and put their know-how to work in the Beehive State.

HB299, which received a favorable recommendation Friday from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, is an investment in the state's economic well being because it helps ensure the public's support of higher education is rewarded with more college-educated workers who elect to live and work in Utah.

"College degrees really matter," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork. "They really drive the economy."

Utahns who graduate from state-supported colleges and universities could seek the nonrefundable tax credit so long as they are paying taxes to the state of Utah.

The credit would average about $1,100.

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