Deseret News
Letter to the editor

It is understandable that wealthy and corporate interests would generally be opposed to the idea of an income tax.

The progressive nature of an income tax, which taxes higher incomes at a higher rate, is a contrast to the sales tax, which is called a “regressive tax” because it burdens the poor and lower incomes disproportionately in comparison to the same purchase by a person of higher income.

Progressive taxes, regressive taxes, user fees, flat rate taxation, administrative fees, permit and licensing fees — they all have pros and cons, but in a complex way, they can all be used to provide appropriate revenues to run our government in a fair and balanced manner

However, the income tax debate in Utah isn’t like the national debate. In Utah Constitution, a lot of income tax revenue goes toward funding public education. So, any debate about reducing income tax in Utah is really a debate about reducing the funds available for public education.

13 comments on this story

In Utah's case, maybe it was a way to ensure that the well-off were also chipping in, as well as those business interests that benefited from an educated populace to help maintain the profitability of their workforce and attract business to our state. In the current debate on taxes, it is easy to lobby for the narrow interests of one group over another. This legislative session, let’s remember the commitments we have made as a public to educate all our children and honor the vision of those who came before us.

Keith Homer