2019 Session: There’s Still Plenty of Work to Do in the Coming Months Now that we’ve had some time to digest the 2019 General Session, one topic dominated much of the conversation. But plenty of other issues boiled up that will affect taxpayers for years to come. Let’s review what happened, and what to expect.

HB 441: Tax Equalization and Reduction Act (Quinn) Needless to say, the biggest tax issue that was faced during the 2019 General Session was the effort to expand the sales tax, mostly by taxing services. While the Utah Taxpayers Association has long supported broadening the sales tax base and lowering the income tax rate, HB 441 was not the way to accomplish this, without damaging Utah’s economy for decades to come. In the bill, the expansion of the sales tax included business-tobusiness transactions, which is also known as tax pyramiding. Economists have long contended that a sales tax should be placed on the final consumption or purchase of an item, rather than have multiple stages in the production cycle. This could apply to legal services for patents, accounting and engineering services, or even something as seemingly trivial as security services. Taxing these services would lead to higher costs for the end consumer, and are all services used during the production of an item.

You can find the rest in this month’s edition of the Utah Taxpayer.