Utah – Modernizing Sales Tax: A Guide For Policymakers

By almost any measure, Utah is, and deserves to be, the envy of its peers. The state’s economy has nearly doubled in size over the past two decades, growing at twice the rate of the nation at large. Income is rising, tax collections are robust, and Utah leads the country in job growth. Tax reforms adopted in 2007 improved the structure and competitiveness of the state’s individual and corporate income taxes and established a model for other states to follow. But today, some of the gains made in 2007 are being undone—not by conscious policy choices, but by their absence. The three-legged stool—income, property, and sales taxes—is increasingly unbalanced, to the detriment of the state’s economic competitiveness and revenue stability. Utah’s sales tax breadth is barely half what it was at its peak, shortly after the end of World War II, and the percentage of personal consumption subject to the tax has declined from nearly 50 percent to just 35 percent over the past 20 years.

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Tax foundation
by jared walczak
June 4, 2019