Last December the Utah State Legislature passed a tax reform bill to solve an issue with sales tax revenues not keeping pace with income tax revenue in the state. Shortly after the bill was passed a referendum was started that would put the tax reform on the November Ballot. Lawmakers repealed the bill at the beginning of the 2020 session.

We talked to Fred Cox and Judy Weeks-Rohner, two of the sponsors of the referendum, and Tina Cannon, a Morgan County Council-woman about the process and some of the issues the tax reform would have created. The discussion also touched on clearing up the difference between a referendum and an initiative.


  •  The frustration of citizens who signed the referendum relating to the process the legislature went through passing the bill in a special session.
  • Where should the discussion of tax reform turn to now that the bill is dead? Where does the state collect revenue for the budget?
  • Five items that were proposed for additional taxes that were especially problematic: Food, Fuel, pulling from the Education Fund, changing funding for roads and taxes on services.

The repeal of the tax reform bill has made for a different legislative session for 2020. It was recently compared to a “socks and underwear Christmas” where basically the bare essentials will get covered and additional appropriations will be hard to come by.