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Phil Lyman wants to reduce government and cut taxes. Here’s why


All around the state, economic concern appears to be a widespread and growing issue. A recent Utah Foundation survey found that Utahns are “fed up and priced out” when it comes to housing affordability. What’s more, three in five say their quality of life is getting worse than it was five years ago.

Making matters worse, Utahns are continuing to see their property taxes rise.

“Auditors write that property taxes in some counties increased between 100% and 235% for the average homeowner between 2017 and 2022,” Bridger Beal-Cvetko reported in a recent KSL.com article.

To fix this problem and make the economy work for Utah families, it takes a leader with a strong commitment to the principles of free markets, limited regulation and low taxes. Phil Lyman, who’s running to be Utah’s next governor, wants to be that leader.

If elected, here are two ways he plans to help alleviate Utahns’ economic stress.

Grow the economy, not the government

For those priced out of the housing market, discouraged with continuing inflation and frustrated by ever-increasing property taxes, Lyman’s economic policies aim to address these hot-button issues.

He believes the first crucial step to a thriving economy is to stop growing government. As Utah.gov reports, Utah’s fiscal budget in 2020 was $20 billion. For 2025, the government just approved a $29.4 billion budget, which is nearly a 50% increase.

Furthermore, according to a recent Zions Bank Economic Snapshot analyzing job growth in Utah, the state saw an increase of 35,600 jobs over the past year. However, it’s noteworthy that 12,700 of these were in government roles, while 11,800 were in education and health services, sectors that often have a significant portion of government-related positions.

Lyman says that this “reckless” growth in government strains Utahns’ wallets because the Utah Constitution rightfully requires a balanced budget, meaning your tax burden must increase to cover the expenditures.

“When you spend like a blue state, you must tax like a blue state,” Lyman says. “While different groups use different algorithms, according to one source, Utah ranks 11th of 50 states for overall highest tax burden, the highest of any Republican-led red state. All of our neighbors, including Colorado, rank much lower.”

Phil Lyman wants to reduce government and cut taxes. Here's why
Photo: Phil Lyman for Governor

Lyman wants to address the root cause of the issue by cutting government spending.

“As governor of Utah, my budget priorities will be based on true fiscal responsibility that results from limiting spending instead of increasing taxes,” he writes.

A recent state audit found that Utah also gets 30% of its state budget from federal funds. Lyman says that these federal dollars come with strings attached that erode state sovereignty. He believes out-of-control federal spending is fueling inflation, taking away the country’s purchase power, raising prices for goods across all markets and forcing the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates high.

And he doesn’t think Utahns should have to suffer from that.

Phil Lyman says he will work to get the government out of the way of the free market, so that Utah families can afford homes, keep their hard-earned dollars, and build thriving businesses. He says his economic plan puts Utah families and businesses first and focuses on tax cuts the average Utahn will notice.

“It is crucial that we support federal policies aimed at curbing inflation while simultaneously working to reduce our dependence on federal funding,” he writes. “We shouldn’t be focused on finding billion-dollar homes for baseball and hockey teams until Utah families see reduced stress on their wallets. We need to limit regulation to get the government out of the way, so that Utah businesses can prosper.”

Addressing the tax burden

Lyman wants to address the tax burden in three key ways.

First, he wants to base property taxes on the assessed value of the property at the time

of purchase or refinance. Right now, he says that property taxes are assessed against unrealized gains in real estate value, which means the government is getting the greatest benefit from the rise in home prices.

“You don’t pay capital gains taxes on unrealized gains in your stock portfolio, and you shouldn’t have to pay for unrealized gains for the property that you own,” he states. “You definitely shouldn’t have to see your monthly mortgage payment go up every year to fund excessive government spending.”

Second, Lyman wants to remove Utah’s tax on Social Security benefits. According to Yahoo Finance, just 10 states impose a Social Security tax for retirees.

“Utah is on this list, and we shouldn’t be,” Lyman says. “Even California doesn’t tax Social Security. You worked hard your whole life for the promise of these benefits, and now the state of Utah wants to take its cut. As your governor I will fight to eliminate taxes on your Social Security benefits.”

Third, Lyman wants to investigate the potential impact of eliminating the state income tax, as Wyoming, Nevada, Florida and other states have done.

“As your governor, I will explore all options for reducing Utahns’ tax burden,” he says. “We are a red state. We need to act like it.”

To learn more about Phil Lyman, his stance on different issues and proposed policy, visit lymanforutah.com.



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