Utah parents may be footing a tax hike amounting to roughly $400 million in total if State Senator Patricia Jones' proposed legislation goes through.
Patricia Jones sponsored the legislation. (Photo: Utah State Senate)
The state lawmaker has reportedly been pushing an end to the state's child tax credit, saying the state should put the money into public education instead.
"I think it's tax fairness at its best," Jones is quoted as saying. "It is bold, but our students deserve bold."
According to KUTV, if the legislation passes high schools will each receive around $1 million, every middle school about $700,000, and every elementary school around $400,000.
According to Jones, the school board will be able to decide how to use the money, though she promises: "This would bring in money for teacher aids, reading specialists, math specialists and science specialists. Real school counselors. We could pay teacher bonuses for schools."
She said the average family of four would pay about $400 more a year in taxes as a result.
"Sometimes you just have to swallow a bitter pill and say what are our priorities?" she reportedly remarked. "We have to look at education as an investment in our state, in our children."
State Senator Howard Stephenson (R-Draper) has expressed skepticism that the legislature would vote to approve such a measure, but has called the proposal "the most perfect version yet" for tackling Utah's education funding needs.
Rep. Francis Gibson (R-Mapleton), who is the co-chair of the Education Interim Committee, also reportedly remarked: "I want the citizens of Utah to put up or be quiet when it comes to funding education."
[Front page image courtesy of Shutterstock/Petrenko Andri]