SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 8, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The majority of voters in Utah, regardless of party lines and age groups, agree that the state should eliminate income taxes on Social Security benefits, according to a new AARP poll. Fully 66% of Utah voters agree with this change, 69% of Republicans agree, 67% of Democrats agree, and 65% of Independents agree. In fact, the survey found that eliminating Utah’s tax on Social Security benefits received strong support from all age groups: 54% of 18-34 year olds agreed, 67% of 35-49 year olds agreed, and 75% of the over-50s agreed. With Utah’s 2023 Legislative Session weeks away, AARP is calling on the governor and lawmakers to make eliminating the tax on Social Security benefits a top priority.
At least two legislators, Rep. Walt Brooks and Rep. Norman Thurston, appear to have already opened account files tackling the taxation of Social Security benefits.
“Utah is one of 11 remaining states that tax Social Security benefits,” said Danny Harris, AARP Utah Director for Advocacy.
“Our research shows that voters in Utah want the state tax on Social Security benefits to be eliminated for all taxpayers. In this time of unprecedented inflation, Utah residents are paying more to heat and cool their homes, put groceries on the table, take home and carry life-saving items.” medicines, and put gasoline in their tanks. Completely eliminating state taxes on Social Security benefits is the first step the Utah legislature can take to provide tax relief to more Utah residents,” Harris said.
Currently, Utah taxes Social Security benefits on income of $37,000 or more for individual filers and $62,000 or more for joint filers.
“Social benefits are a critical part of financial security in retirement,” Harris concluded. “Utah senior voters recognize this and will fight to defend their hard-earned benefits. That’s why we’re urging the governor and state legislatures to remove Social Security taxes now.”
AARP Utah is also encouraging Utah residents to visit action.aarp.org/utahtax and sign a petition encouraging elected officials to make this change.
As Utah residents look forward to the annual legislative session and consider a $1.3 billion surplus in tax revenue, 48% want the legislature enacting a combination of major program increases, tax cuts and additional funding in the state’s rain fund . Another 20% want to see tax cuts, while 19% want to see more funding for state programs, and 8% hope to increase the state’s rain fund.
Survey results also show that an overwhelming majority of Utah voters — 84% — are unfamiliar with Utah’s property tax circuit breaker program, which offers tax relief to older homeowners and renters who meet income requirements. This includes 76% of those 65 and older who are not familiar with the program – many of whom are under the eligible population. With Utah’s current high housing costs and increased property taxes, the Utah legislature has an important opportunity to give more Utahns access to tax credits that already exist but are underused.
View the entire survey here.
A press briefing will be held online to review the findings of the investigation. AARP representatives will be available at that time to answer questions.
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Thursday, December 8, 2022
1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m
Figure 1: Chart for Social Security tax cuts
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Social Security tax cut schedule