On Oct. 26, the Deseret Morning News published an article regarding the Utah Taxpayers Association's involvement in formulating state tax reforms including the "flatter" income tax proposed by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. In the article, Sen. Howard Stephenson states "You won't find a more pro-family organization in the state . . ." Then why does the organization support changing the state's income tax system so that it no longer recognizes the fiscal obligations of raising a family?
So-called "flatter" income tax proposals phase out the standard deductions and personal exemptions at relatively low income levels so that middle-class families with multiple incomes and dependents are treated the same as a single wealthy taxpayer. At the federal level these deductions and exemptions do not begin to phase out until a couple makes more than $212,000. In the proposed state income tax plan, such a phase-out for a couple begins at $20,000.
While this "flatter" income system should be commended for initially decreasing taxes for low-income households, without indexing the tax tables for inflation, the state will eventually end up increasing the income tax burden among low-income households.
Dorothy Pappas Owen
Salt Lake City