AP NEWS

Tax referendum question will not appear on Utah ballot

January 30, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A referendum question on a tax overhaul package in the Utah Legislature will not be put to voters in November because state lawmakers have removed reforms that prompted opposition.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports a nearly unanimous vote by state lawmakers Tuesday scrapped what had been a divisive tax proposal passed in a December special session.

The bill would have increased the state’s sales tax on food and imposed sales tax on gas purchases and service transactions including car towing and pet grooming.

The measure would also have granted a tax cut of $160 million through a combination of income tax decreases and credits.

”Since that law has been repealed, there is no longer an existing law to refer to the people, effectively making the referendum moot,” Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement Wednesday.

The reversal came the same day state elections officials announced a referendum campaign targeting the reform bill had secured more than the 116,000 signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leaders announced they would repeal the tax reform package after the referendum group declared it had collected more than 150,000 signatures.