2022 Utah Legislative Update – Week 3 | What Local, Independent Business Owners Need to Know

2022 Utah Legislative Update
By Carol Elliott (UIBC Advocacy Chair) and Jon Parry (UIBC Advocacy Co-Chair) | February 7, 2022

UIBC Reports on the 2022 Legislative Session

The Utah Legislature just completed its third week of the 2022 Session. UIBC is providing a series of weekly reports during the 2022 legislative session for our UIBC members and friends pertaining to legislation affecting our state’s local, independent businesses. To see an updated running list of bills we are watching, click here.

If you have a question for our advocacy team for our next legislative update next week, click here to email us.

Summary of New Developments and Proposed Legislation Affecting Utah Local, Independent Businesses

HB 297, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Handy, would change the composition of the Local Food Advisory Council to include appointment of a food distributor as an additional potential member on council. Other potential members of the council as had previously been established in the statute authorizing the council include “a direct-to-consumer food producer,” “a food retailer,” and “a representative of a business engaged in the processing, packaging, or distribution of food.”

HB 307, sponsored by Rep. Mike Winder, would enact a nonrefundable state earned income tax credit equal to 15% of the amount of the federal earned income tax credit that a qualifying claimant is entitled to claim on a federal income tax return for the current taxable year and also provides for apportionment of the state earned income tax credit. This bill has actually been combined within SB 59, the status of which is updated below.

HB 322, sponsored by Rep. Kay Christofferson, would transfer authority for development of large ($100 million-plus) transportation infrastructure projects from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). UTA would continue to develop smaller projects. The bill would require UTA to coordinate with UDOT regarding certain public transit facilities associated with a transit-oriented development. UTA would continue to manage public transportation services after transportation infrastructure projects are built, including bus and Frontrunner operations.

SB 59, previously discussed in UIBC’s first-week recap of the 2022 legislative session, and which would provide a reduction in the state-wide personal and corporate income tax rate from 4.95% to 4.85%, received a favorable vote out of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee Friday, and now will be considered by the full House. The bill has been amended to provide $15 million in ongoing money pertaining to individual eligibility for the Utah Social Security tax credit and $25 million in ongoing funding for the state’s non-refundable earned income tax credit. HB 307, mentioned above in this report, has been included within SB 59 pertaining to the earned income tax credit.

SB 175, sponsored by Sen. Dan McCay, would mandate that the State of Utah exempt all areas of the state from standard time; and provides that the year-round observed time of the entire state and all of the state’s political subdivisions is mountain daylight time.

Other House Bills We Are Watching

HB 35 Economic Development Modifications [click here to see the bill]

HB 44 Business And Labor Reporting Requirements [click here to see the bill]
This bill includes adjustments to Workers Compensation statute.

H.B. 57 Government Records Access Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill would essentially protect a government official from having a personal device searched for a public record even though the proposed statute confirms that a public record can be determined to be saved on a personal device.

H.B. 60 Vaccine Passport Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill appears to prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to obtain a vaccine.

H.B. 146 Food Truck Licensing Amendments [click here to see the bill]

H.B. 156 Sales and Use Tax Refund Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill would enact a refund of the sales and use tax paid pertaining to purchase or lease of machinery, equipment, normal operating repair or replacement parts, or materials, by an oil and gas extraction establishment or a pipeline transportation establishment. UIBC strongly opposes this bill, as it is designed to specially favor the oil and gas industry. UIBC member businesses would continue to owe their sales and use taxes.

H.B. 165 Food Sales Tax Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill would remove the sales tax on food.

H.B. 199 Tangible Personal Property Tax Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill removes the current requirement that a taxpayer file a signed statement after the first calendar year in which a taxpayer qualifies for a property tax exemption for tangible personal property if the taxpayer continues to qualify for the exemption for consecutive subsequent years.

H.B. 202 Employment Selection Procedures Act [click here to see the bill]
This bill would prohibit an employer from asking for a prospective employee’s compensation history.

H.B. 203 Food Sales Tax Modifications [click here to see the bill]
This bill would also eliminate the state sales tax on food.

H.B. 307 Earned Income Tax Credit Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill enacts a nonrefundable state earned income tax credit and provides for apportionment of the state earned income tax credit.

Senate Bills We Are Watching

S.B. 16 Licensing Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill establishes a professional license review process to occur every 10 years.

S.B. 26 Division of Consumer Protection Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill alters provisions pertaining to franchise business opportunities.

S.B. 39 Mobile Workforce Income Tax Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bills appears to eliminate income tax on out of state persons who work 20 or fewer days in UT.

S.B. 59 Income Tax Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill would reduce the state income tax rate to 4.85% from 4.95% and would remove the personal property tax on certain “supplies” used in business. It also provides $15 million in ongoing money pertaining to individual eligibility for the Utah Social Security tax credit and $25 million in ongoing funding for the state’s non-refundable earned income tax credit.

S.B. 93 Business Tax Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This bill would exempt supplies used in the course of business from personal property tax; exempt certain tangible personal property consumed in the performance of a taxable service from sales and use tax; and exempt certain tangible personal property used or consumed in the production or development of taxable computer software from sales and use tax. UIBC would favor this bill.

S.B. 95 Limitations on Employer Liability [click here to see the bill]
This bill addresses liability of an employer for negligently hiring, or failing to adequately
supervise, an employee that has been previously convicted of an offense.

S.B. 125 Hospitality Employee Tax Credit [click here to see the bill]
This bill would allow restaurant and bar employees to claim a one-time $1,250 state income tax credit if they work a minimum of 1,560 hours during 2022.

S.B. 175 Daylight Saving Time Modifications [click here to see the bill]
Mandates that the State of Utah exempt all areas of the state from standard time; and provides that the year-round observed time of the entire state and all of the state’s political subdivisions is mountain daylight time

Be Informed and Get Involved!

UIBC encourages everyone to both keep informed about the legislature’s work and, even more importantly, communicate with your individual senators and representatives to voice your opinion on the legislative bills being considered.

Visit the Utah Legislature’s website at https://le.utah.gov/ to get access to all the bills, committee hearings, and contact information for all the legislators. You can watch and listen to legislative committee and floor proceedings in real time or view proceedings from finished meetings using the website’s streaming portal here. Identify and get contact information for all the legislators here.

UIBC will be posting regular updates on which bills are up for consideration, which bills pass, etc. If you receive email updates from UIBC, keep and eye on your email for updates. If you don’t already receive our emails, click here to subscribe for free.