Utah Gov. Spencer Cox

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox 

(The Center Square) - Gov. Spencer Cox is asking lawmakers to reduce the state's income tax rate and give every teacher in the state an additional $6,000. 

The increase in compensation for teachers includes $4,600 in pay, with the rest going to benefits, Cox said Thursday. The pay raises will cost the state $200.7 million. 

"Teachers make a tremendous difference in our lives and we need Utah's best and brightest to become teachers," Cox said. "Getting and keeping high-quality, qualified educators in classrooms will do wonders for our K-12 students, and this pay increase will help us do that."

His $1 billion plan for reducing the income tax for Utah residents has several components. One expands the dependent provision with a $250 refundability provision. The governor also wants to continue phasing out the Social Security tax. Other parts of the plan include reducing property taxes and expanding the circuit breaker credit. 

The plan is estimated to give a $350 tax break to a single mom with two children making $25,000 a year, according to a presentation by Cox. A widower on Social Security making $45,000 a year could see a $514 tax cut. A married couple with one child making $160,000 a year could see $679 in tax savings. 

"Utah's strength is in its people," Gov. Cox said. "Returning hard-earned dollars to Utahns who are struggling from the impacts of inflation is the right thing to do and will support the families who need it most."

Cox will outline more details on his tax cuts when he reveals his budget plan on Friday. His proposals will need legislative approval. 

"Big things to work on with the legislature this year," Cox said in a Twitter post after announcing his proposed tax cuts. "We love our legislators and know that we share priorities for the largest tax cut and the largest teacher compensation increase in our state's history!"

Associate Editor

Kim Jarrett's career spans over 30 years with stops in radio, print and television. She has won awards from both the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.