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In Utah, Governor's Budget Voted Down by House GOP

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December 15, 2010

On Monday, House Republicans voted against one of Utah Governor Gary Herbert's tax proposals. They did so on the grounds that it was a tax increase for small businesses. The result of this is a $130 million dollar void in the new budget proposal.[1]

The root of the problem is the governor's proposal to require that taxes be paid quarterly rather than annually for those that are self-employed. This would lead to taxes being collected earlier and would raise approximately $130 million for the state government. House Republicans opposed this measure, believing it to be a tax hike. House Speaker-elect Becky Lockhart commented that "Especially in these economic times, you don’t want to do anything that would hamper [businesses’] ability to grow."[1]

House Republicans are looking to instead cut an additional 7% out of the budget, amounting to over $300 million. GOP members of the Utah State Senate agreed to follow this approach.[1]

Republicans would like to reduce the budget by cutting nonessential government programs currently offered. Both sides understand that it is still early in the budgeting process and that concessions may need to be made.[1]

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