Advocates for low-income Utahns protest restoring sales tax on food

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  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Feb. 24, 2017 9:27 a.m.

    I lived in Seattle for 22 years.

    NO state income tax.
    NO food tax.

    Better Schools,
    Better Infrastructure.

    Liberal Democrats --
    Go figure.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Feb. 24, 2017 8:25 a.m.

    As a poor immigrant living in this state, I think it is important that even those who are like me should make a contribution to our society. I may be poor now, but I am much better than where I was before I came to this country. I see it with my own eyes, what others have that I do not have. That does not make me feel poor. Technically, I feel poor because someone keeps reminding me that I am. Otherwise, I feel fine and grateful for being here. In reality, when I compare my current life to my past, I am in heaven here. The least I can do, as minimal as it may be, is help making contributions to be part of society. If paying sales tax helps improve our education system, so be it. My status of being poor may not change, but that should not prevent me for having pride in making a contribution through our sales taxation. Somehow, I want to be like everyone else.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2017 12:03 a.m.

    Take a step back legislature. This hurts the poor, and Utah has a budget surplus.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 8:58 p.m.

    As a conservative, I cannot support the Legislature's effort to increase food tax. Such a tax directly hurts the poor, where a larger percentage of resources/income is spent on food and subsistence.

    There are other ways to broaden the tax base that can be more precise, more surgical, that will spare the most needy among us.

    Let's not charge the poor a food tax and then give them food stamps to make up the difference. That seems like a bad plan too.

    I would recommend eliminating food tax all-together and look for ways to raise taxes through other means. For example, Utah is enjoying ever increasing tourism to our state parks and outdoor recreations. Increasing tax on those areas can bring tax dollars from out of staters, and perhaps moderate the crowding within state parks.

    Taxing restaurants, movies, and other entertainment could be fair game.

    Other ideas can come from legislators that are smarter than me. But a food tax is a bad policy all around.

  • robin138 springfield, VA
    Feb. 23, 2017 6:06 p.m.

    Apparently the Utah legislature feels regressive taxes on food which have a greater effect on the poor as the poor spend a higher proportion of their take home pay on basic necessities like food are a superior choice to taxing the 5%-ers at a higher rate. America needs to bring back the income tax rates of the 60s and 70s.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 5:38 p.m.

    We should be working to eliminate the sales tax on food, the epitome of a regressive tax.

    DN subscriber
    "Why should anyone be forced to give up the earnings of their labor to give it to anyone else, or to pay someone else's bills or taxes?"

    a tax cut on food would apply to the wealthy as well as the poor, so cutting the tax cuts your tax as well. Of course if you are always buying steak and they are always buying mac N cheese, your tax cut would actually be much greater than the poor.

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    Feb. 23, 2017 5:13 p.m.

    Thank you advocates for the less well off.

    Why do Utah's legislators have a thing against the poor? Aren't many Utahns taught to elect people of good character? What character is evident in those who sock it to the poor? Not good.

    Consider my points.

    Teachers in the classroom full time need better pay. Supes, admins, non teachers, district, and state people do not.

    Food is a necessity not a luxury, most other states have long ago zero'd a sales tax on food. Please Utah legislators remove the sales tax on food.

    Sales tax on food is the epitome of an unfair tax, in response to someone above who tried to 'splain different, 'nuff said.

    Recently the legislature refused to raise the income tax rate on incomes over $250k from 5% to 7%. That was the epitome of a bad outcome, I say recall those legislators. The wealthy have much more capacity to pay for education, pay it. The wealthy have much more capacity to help others get a good education, pay it. An extra 2% tax rate on incomes over $250k is not even a noticeable payment, it is certainly not a high tax, it is not a sacrifice like the sacrifice the poor make just to eat.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 4:57 p.m.

    I am a fan of the food tax. It is the only way that large families are fairly taxed for their requirements on the school system. Also, earlier this week, there was a story about how our children are so obese that they can't qualify for the military, and that is a further drain on the healthcare system.

    Food tax lets families pay for their schools, and encourages people to reduce their food consumption and obese lifestyles.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 4:35 p.m.

    Interesting that among the 14 states that charge a sales tax on groceries, 13 of them are conservative states. So much for conservatives being anti-tax.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 4:10 p.m.

    As much as I hate any tax increase. A consumption tax on food is a flat tax on everybody, it will tax the above and below table economies. It will tax everyone the same. This is a "fair" tax.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 3:45 p.m.

    Why not differentiate the tax by the type of food? Tax foods that have a proven link to diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and other maladies at 10% or more. Do not tax the foods that are known to improve your health at all.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 3:39 p.m.

    The truly low income don't pay taxes on food anyway. Food stamp purchases are not taxed. Neither are disbursements from food pantries, Bishops' storehouses, or other charities.

    The moderate income who don't qualify for food stamps, would pay some small taxes on unprepared food. My guess is that most such families could easily offset these taxes simply by reduces purchases of soda, beer, and prepared foods in favor of lower cost staples. And of course, most of these modest income folks pay little or nothing in State income tax thanks to all kinds of exemptions and credits that phase out for higher earners.

    Everyone needs some skin in the game. Everyone needs to feel the pain when they demand "higher spending" for one favored program or effort or another. Nobody who votes should be exempt from taxes.

    My home is taxed. My transportation is taxed seven ways for Sunday. I pay taxes on OTC medications. I pay taxes on clothing. Lots of life necessities are taxed. There is no reason that a modest sales tax on food can't be part of the mix.

    Everyone needs an incentive to keep government spending at reasonable levels.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 3:33 p.m.

    Why should low income people be excused from paying taxes on food?

    Are taxes collected to perform essential government services for everyone, or are they merely an excuse for wealth redistribution?

    Why should anyone be forced to give up the earnings of their labor to give it to anyone else, or to pay someone else's bills or taxes?

    It is most charitable and admirable if people choose to voluntarily help others, but I have no right to expect that you will send me money for anything, be it food, healthcare, a new house, or to take to Wendover to gamble or even to buy cigarettes and alcohol. It is your money, do with it as you please. Send it to me or to the Homeless fund. I won't criticize either choice, or force you to do either.

    Even the poor should pay taxes, at the same rate as the rich. At least in a free country. In a socialist or Marxist worker's paradise they can take from each according to their means and give to each according to their needs. See how well that works in Venezuela, etc.

    Cut spending and taxes! If the government gave away less money it could cut taxes by a lot more than that- including on the poor.