SALT LAKE CITY, December 8, 2022 (Newswire.com) - The majority of Utah voters across party lines and age groups agree that the state should eliminate the income tax on Social Security benefits, states a new AARP poll. Fully 66% of Utah voters agree with this change with 69% of Republicans agreeing, 67% of Democrats agreeing, and 65% of Independents agreeing. The survey showed removing Utah's tax on Social Security benefits even had strong support from all age groups: 54% of 18-34 years olds agree, 67% of 35-49 year olds agree, and 75% of those age 50 and over agree. 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 bill files addressing the tax on Social Security benefits.
"Utah is one of 11 remaining states that taxes Social Security benefits," said Danny Harris, AARP Utah Director for Advocacy.
"Our survey shows that Utah voters want the state tax on Social Security benefits eliminated for all taxpayers. During this time of unprecedented inflation, Utahns are paying more to heat and cool their homes, put groceries on their tables, bring home and take their lifesaving medicines, and put gas in their tanks. Entirely removing the state tax on Social Security benefits is the first step the Utah Legislature can take to provide tax relief to more Utahns," Harris said.
Currently Utah taxes Social Security benefits on income of $37,000 or higher for individual filers and $62,000 or higher for joint filers.
"Social Security benefits are a critical component of financial security in retirement," concluded Harris. "Older Utah voters recognize this and will fight to defend their hard-earned benefits. That's why we are urging the Governor and state lawmakers to eliminate the Social Security tax now."
AARP Utah also encourages Utahns to visit action.aarp.org/utahtax and sign a petition encouraging elected officials to make this change.
As Utahns look toward the annual legislative session and consider a $1.3 billion tax revenue surplus, 48% want to see the legislature enact a combination of increases to important programs, tax cuts, and additional funding in the state's rainy-day fund. Another 20% want to see tax cuts, while 19% want to see increased funding to state programs, and 8% hope to increase the state's rainy-day fund.
Survey results also show that an overwhelming majority of Utah voters — 84% — are unfamiliar with Utah's property tax circuit breaker program which provides tax relief to older homeowners and renters who meet income eligibility requirements. This includes 76% of those age 65 and older who are unfamiliar with the program — many of whom are among the eligible population. With Utah's current high cost of housing and increased property taxes, Utah's legislature has a significant opportunity to help more Utahns access tax relief that already exists but is underutilized.
See the entire survey here.
A briefing for the press will be held online to review the findings of the survey. Representatives from AARP will be available to answer questions at that time.
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Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022
1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Source: AARP Utah