The Utah legislature is considering how to restructure the state tax system to better align it with current and future consumer spending behavior and maintain key revenue sources. What do Utah voters think about these proposals? AARP in Utah commissioned a survey of registered voters to find out.
Utah voters generally agree that all state income tax dollars should go directly to fund public education – they strongly support keeping intact the state constitutional requirement that directs all state income tax revenue to public education. They do not support an amendment to allow state income tax revenues to support other state services and programs. Moreover, most Utah voters want to eliminate the income tax currently applied to Social Security benefits, though not all voters agree, possibly because revenue from this tax supports public education. A good portion of voters support keeping the tax on Social Security benefits as long as existing and future retirees can continue to claim a tax credit.
Utah voters are open to new sales taxes on services at a proposed lower rate of 3.1 percent to enable the state to maintain sufficient revenue. For instance, most would support a state sales tax to elective medical services, dry cleaning, lodging services, and professional consulting services, with at least one in four voters saying they would strongly support each of these services being taxed. While most Utahans strongly oppose raising the sales tax on groceries, at least three in five strongly support increasing current sales tax rates on e-cigarettes or vaping products, tobacco, and beer and alcohol.
AARP commissioned Alan Newman Research (ANR) to field this poll among registered voters ages 18 and older in Utah in August 2019 on behalf of the AARP state office in Utah. ANR completed 903 telephone interviews (292 via landline and 611 via cell phone). Data are weighted by age, gender, and race/ethnicity according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey (CPS) statistics for Utah voters ages 18+.
Sauer, Jennifer. Utah Tax Reform: Opinions of Registered Voters 18+. Washington, DC: AARP Research, September 2019. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00338.001