Advocates of the So-Called "Fair Tax" Target Utah


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The outrageously named "Fair Tax" reared its ugly head in Utah earlier this month when members of the Utah Legislature's Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee heard a presentation by Fair Tax guru Thomas Wright. He proposed scrapping Utah's current tax system and shifting to a consumption tax on most goods and services, which he calls a "Fair Tax." This would actually be a disaster from the perspective of fairness and adequacy. Relying on sales tax revenues alone is folly and would place a larger burden on low-income families. Luckily there are advocates on the ground working against this proposal. Alison Roland, budget and research director for Voices for Utah Children says, "People are considering it a cure-all but I didn't see any solid proposals to mitigate regressivity. Low-income people live paycheck to paycheck, and they would be taxed on virtually everything they do." There are real reasons to want to reform the state's tax structure. The state's new dual income tax system is complicated and lacks low-income credits to help offset regressive sales and property taxes. Let's hope legislators investigate ways to reform the current ailments of the tax structure instead of inviting more unfairness and complexity with a so-called "Fair Tax."

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