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Panel OKs tax credit for grads who stay in Utah

SHARE Panel OKs tax credit for grads who stay in Utah

In what could turn out to be a major change for Utah public college graduates, the Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a bill that, if passed, would provide a 5 percent personal income tax credit for tuition paid for a college student who stayed in Utah and worked.

The tax credit, depending on how much the student paid in tuition over the years, could be worth hundreds of dollars. And it could be taken anytime during the student's future working career — even years after he may have left school.

"We want to incentivize students to stick around in Utah and help our economy," said Rep. John Dougall, R-Highland, committee co-chairman.

Dougall estimated that the tax credit would cost $2.3 million next year (for only a partial year of the credit in place), $7.9 million the year after.

Several lawmakers said that with the state's revenues in such bad shape, it may not be possible to give up tax revenue for such a credit in the 2009 Legislature.

— Bob Bernick Jr.