Citizen referendum meets signature threshold, lawmakers repeal tax reform bill

Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah lawmakers made good on their promise to repeal a controversial tax reform bill during the first week of the 2020 legislative session.

The House voted 70-1 to repeal the bill, with Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, being the lone vote no. The Senate voted unanimously to repeal it. Governor Gary Herbert signed the bill later in the day Tuesday.

Tuesday’s vote came on the same day 117,154 voter signatures were validated to challenge the bill and get it on the November Ballot – 1,200 more than required.

Organizers in Cache County needed to gather 4,560 signatures to help secure their portion of the referendum effort. The county clerk’s office verified 5,139 signatures.

Box Elder County secured more than 1,400 required signatures. Rich County also came out ahead by 11 signatures.

Sponsors of the citizen referendum began organizing days after SB2001 was passed in a special legislative session in December.

The bill lowered the state income tax from 4.95% to 4.66% and offered tax breaks for low- to moderate-income residents. The package also added the sales tax to some service-based businesses and increased the sales tax on gas and unprepared food.

Lawmakers say they will not take up tax reform this session, instead will address the issue in the future.

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