Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on November 29, 2012
Utah retail stores are on track to see some of their best sales this holiday season. But unless our congressional delegation drop their partisan opposition, next year they’ll be facing huge losses and we’ll be seeing huge tax hikes.
After the 2012 election, major Republican players and elected officials across the country started recognizing that perhaps their continued strategy of “oppose everything” really wasn’t the best route, and have begun proposing compromises. Unfortunately, Utah Senators Hatch and Lee, along with Congressman Bishop and Chaffetz have elected to not only uphold the old ways, but are actually doubling down on their commitment to block any budgetary compromise.
Part of the so-called “fiscal cliff,” which will occur at the end of the year unless Congress can reach an agreement, are some serious tax breaks for middle and low income families – which 99% of Utah falls into (basically anyone who makes less than $250,000 a year). Through tax cuts given out under both President GW Bush and President Obama, families in the Beehive state are getting up to $2200 annually off of their taxes. President Obama and the Democrats are in favor of leaving those tax cuts in place for 99% of the country, but are also asking that multi-millionaires no longer be allowed to pay only 2, 7 or 14%. In other words, the uber-wealthy should be paying the rate they’re supposed to be paying instead of exploiting loopholes in the tax code that get them out of millions in taxes.
Our Republican representatives from Utah, however, have made it clear that even though many of their fellow R’s around the country are starting to decide that it’s time to get down to business and actually govern, they prefer to continue sitting in the corner holding their noses.
While political bloggers like me may find no end to the hilarity of their oblivious tactics, the impact on Utah families isn’t funny at all. 140,700 Utahns are employed by the retail industry, and retail sales – especially during the holiday season – accounts for $Billions in our economy. If the partisan blinders can’t be put aside over the next month, and Congress fails to reach an agreement, our taxes automatically rise by up to $2200 January 1st. While $2200 a year may not sound like much to those making $3 Million a year, for 99% of us it’s a really big deal.
It’s being estimated by the CEA that Utah families will spend $1.9 Billion less in 2013 than we would have if Hatch, Lee, Bishop and Chaffetz don’t do something about this, the majority of that lost revenue being in retail purchases. Our economy cannot afford to lose 1.3% of our GDP, and most importantly – our families cannot afford to pay out another $2200 a year in taxes.
Look, we get it. You hate the Democrats, you find them super evil or whatever. But this isn’t about Democrats vs Republicans anymore. If you continue your hard-line partisan stances and refuse to compromise, it won’t be the Democrats we blame for our taxes going up. Store owners won’t be blaming the Democrats for their $1.9 Billion in lost revenue. We’ll all be blaming you.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas………….now get to work please.