Saturday, March 4, 2017

Do Not raise the tax on food

The number of people that are just getting by, without help, where food is the last thing on their budget, is too many. If raising the food tax increases the number of families needing outside help, including from taxpayers, it is the wrong thing to do. I fought this in 2011 (and since) and I hope it fails to pass this year. Go to the store even once and realize the $3 you have isn't enough to buy that can of chicken with the sales tax and you would not be in favor of adding back the full tax on food.

There are $3/4 B in other tax credits or reductions. Yes, something needs to change, but not starting there. 

Does the earned income tax credit help struggling seniors on a fixed income?

It has always made sense for a stable revenue for government to have a higher tax on food. However many people don't have a stable revenue to buy food. The reduced tax on food isn't going to make it easier to balance the state government budget but it does help the budgets of voters.

Some great articles on the subject:

Former State Rep. Holly Richardson:
"This year, it's straight-out a "revenue enhancement" or a tax increase called by another name.

"Here's the deal. It is only revenue-neutral to the state. It is not revenue neutral to people.

"Adding the tax back on food is regressive, meaning there is an inverse relationship between the tax rate and the taxable income. Clearly, the food tax negatively impacts families at the lower end of the income scale because — as is frequently noted — everyone needs to eat. An increase in the food tax balances the budget on the backs of Utah's working poor. The Legislature needs to look for others options." 

Former State Rep. Jim Nielson 
"Sure, that makes things stable for state government. Downright convenient, in fact. But a boon for the government can be a bane to taxpayers."

"To have stable sales tax revenues during economic downturns means the government takes more from taxpayers in bad times, regardless of our diminished ability to pay. We're asked to keep paying, even when we can't. Which begs this question: Just who do we as lawmakers represent, the government or taxpayers?"