Tax bills passed by House and Senate are bad for Utah students, families and public education


Tax reform bill narrowly passes Senate in early morning vote

Contact your senators and representative today! In the wee hours of Saturday, Dec. 2, while most Americans were sleeping, the Senate passed a massive tax reform package by a vote of 51–49. It included a “voucher like” amendment to expand 529 plans to apply to K-12 private school tuition, which passed 51-50 after Vice President Pence broke a 50-50 tie.

The two bills passed by the US House of Representatives and the Senate are bad for Utah students and public education because they...
  • Penalize Utah for having larger than average-size families;
  • Either increase the federal budget deficit by $1-2 trillion over the coming decade, or lead to harmful cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other parts of the federal safety net for low-income families;
  • Raise taxes on low- and middle-income working Utah families earning $10,000 to $75,000.
  • Blow a $170 million hole in Utah State and local revenue to support public education over the next ten years and put at risk the jobs of more than 2,000 educators by eliminating the state and local tax deduction (SALT).
  • Eliminate an educator tax deduction (House bill) that allows educators to deduct what they spend, up to $250, on classroom materials (the Senate bill keeps the deduction and doubles it).
  • Raise taxes on graduate students who receive stipends for teaching courses or working with professors on research.
  • Repeal tax deductions for student loan interest while giving tax credits to parents to send their children to private schools. 
The next step is a "conference" between the House and Senate but they continue moving quickly. The House and Senate will appoint conferees to reconcile differences in the bills. Given that last-minute changes in the Senate bill brought it closer to the House bill, there is little doubt they will find agreement. Major issues will be reconciling the deductions between the House and Senate bills such as the fate of the teacher tax deduction and some of the higher education deductions that benefit students and others.

Contact your senators and representative today!

Additional Information—

Back to News Listing