Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert, Utah Senate President J. Stuart Adams and Utah House of Representatives Speaker Brad Wilson announced in a joint statement last week that they intend to repeal Senate Bill 2001.

“This is a major victory,” said Paul Murphy, who has helped organize an effort to have a voter referendum to strike down the law. The effort required organizers to gather 115,869 signatures by Jan. 21 for the referendum to be placed on Utah ballots. 

“We appreciate the Governor and legislative leaders recognizing the concern Utahns have about the tax reform bill,” Murphy said.

The statement read as follows — 

As elected officials, we are committed to crafting policy that addresses the challenges we face, enhances the quality of life for all Utahns and has the support of the public. In recent weeks, it has become clear that many people have strong concerns regarding legislation passed in December [2019] to restructure and revise our tax code. They expressed their concerns by signing a petition to include a referendum on the ballot later this year. We applaud those who have engaged in the civic process and made their voices heard. We are not foes on a political battlefield, we are all Utahns committed to getting our tax policy right. That work is just beginning. 

The 2020 general legislative session opened with legislative leaders introducing a bill to repeal the changes made in the special session. According to the joint statement, a bill repealing the new tax law would be ready for the governor’s signature before the completion of the first week of the session. 

One of the reasons cited for repealing S.B. 2001 is that it removes the uncertainty of adopting a budget under one tax law, and then having it repealed midway through the tax year. 

The statement continues — 

The original challenge we worked to address lies before us still. Crafting the right policy is critical to our state’s long-term success. Utah has never shrunk from a challenge and, working together, we will chart the right path forward. We will take time to reset and address this issue in the future in a way that allows all Utahns to fully understand the challenge we face, engage in the debate over the best solutions and, ultimately, enact policy that best positions Utah for decades to come. 

We are elected to represent our constituents by understanding the issues we face as a state, debating proposed solutions and adopting the right policies. We are encouraged by the high level of interest in this issue and we hope those who signed their names to the petition — and all Utahns — will be engaged as we work together to craft the right policy.

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