2022 Utah Legislative Update – Week 1 | What Local, Independent Business Owners Need to Know

By Carol Elliott (UIBC Advocacy Chair) and Jon Parry (UIBC Advocacy Co-Chair)

UIBC Reports on the 2022 Legislative Session

The 2022 Session of the Utah Legislature began this week on January 18th. With this initial report, UIBC continues its long history of informing and advocating for our members and others concerned about our state’s local, independent businesses. We’ll provide a series of weekly reports during the 2022 legislative session. We also plan on summarizing the session after its conclusion in a special legislative wrap-up event. Click here to scroll down and see an initial list of bills we are watching.

In the past few years, the Utah legislature has assumed more pure power and authority than it has ever before in the history of this state. Its power now overshadows the previous balance that had existed among the state legislature, the governor’s office, and local county and city governments.

Be Informed and Get Involved!

The actions (or even inaction) of the state legislature impacts every business owner and citizen of Utah. That’s why we at UIBC encourage 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.

It is more critical than ever to be informed of and be involved in the Utah state legislative process. In the past few years, the Utah legislature has assumed more pure power and authority than it has ever before in the history of this state. Its power now overshadows the previous balance that had existed among the state legislature, the governor’s office, and local county and city governments. We at UIBC are frankly very concerned about this shift in power to the state legislature and its impact on both our local, independent businesses and the communities they serve. Read more about this increase in the legislature’s power here. If we as citizens of this state aren’t actively communicating with and advocating to our legislators, they will proceed to govern anyway, and we will have to live with the results.

An Initial Summary of Proposed Legislation Affecting Utah Local, Independent Businesses

Below you’ll find the initial list of bills we are watching with links to the actual official summaries and text of each bill.

To be frank, at the outset of the 2022 legislative session, of the many hundreds of bills and resolutions under consideration, there aren’t many bills directly pertaining to small businesses, and only a very few that appear to directly benefit small businesses. Suffice it to say, Utah’s local, independent businesses are not even close to being the focus of the 2022 Utah legislature. Instead, the main topics of the proposed legislation in the House and Senate relate to altering voting law, slightly reducing the state income tax on individuals and businesses, spending federal pandemic aid, water conservation, education funding, and suppressing local governments’ authority to issue orders to limit the effects of the COVID pandemic.

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.

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. 93 Business Tax Amendments [click here to see the bill]
This will 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.

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.