2020 Bills

SJR 9: A Supermajority Vote to Raise Taxes

This resolution passed the senate with a vote of 23-6, and it passed the house with a vote of 67-5.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it is aligned with our principles and merits support.

In the past several years, the Utah Legislature has raised many different taxes and fees.

More recently, the Legislature enacted a controversial tax reform package—which included increases in taxes, including the food tax—that provoked a successful citizen referendum signature gathering effort, prompting the bill to be repealed.

Raising taxes is a serious political action with substantial financial ramifications for Utah families, and should therefore not be able to be done by a simple majority vote. Accordingly, Senator Dan McCay is sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 9—a constitutional amendment that says:

No bill providing for a tax increase may pass without the assent of two-thirds of all members elected to each house, regardless of whether the bill also provides for a decrease in another tax.

In plain English, any bill that proposes to increase a tax rate must receive a supermajority vote of each chamber in the Legislature. 16 other states apply this same standard to some or all tax bills. This bill itself must receive a 2/3 vote in each chamber of the Legislature, then be approved by voters this November via a majority vote.

  • Curtis Jewell

    The one problem is that bills passed with 2/3 supermajorities can’t have veto referendums proposed to get rid of them if they are bad – or is that changing, too? It doesn’t seem to be.

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