2019 Challenges in the Utah State Legislature

Date: May 02, 2018

Eliminating the personal property tax is the top priority

A new, two-year session of the Utah State Legislature opens for business on January 28, 2019, with NFIB set to work on the following issues.

Eliminating the Personal Property Tax
NFIB Utah was encouraged to find several other organizations wanting to help eliminate the business personal property tax. The legislative vehicle was House Bill 375, but the entire group ran into the same roadblock it did in the past. The counties claimed eliminating the tax would take money out of their budgets, and they would not be able to sustain current levels of service. One county clerk claimed there was $3.1 million recovered by auditors in 2017 of unpaid business personal property tax. When NFIB asked for a break down on the size of businesses the $3.1 million was recovered from, it couldn’t be provided. The counties agreed to study this issue over the interim and come back with solutions for the 2019 session. NFIB will make this issue a priority for the interim agenda and continue to push for a change in the 2019 Legislative session. We don’t know what those changes will look like right now. We are focused in the long run for this tax to be eliminated but that could take several years.

Curbing Abuse of the Americans With Disabilities Act
Enacted in 1990 to improve access and equality for disabled Americans, the law’s integrity is being compromised by an onslaught of cookie-cutter “drive-by” lawsuits. These lawsuits are filed against small businesses for minor and correctable violations to extort costly legal settlements, rather than seeking to make needed improvements. In Utah, plaintiffs have filed hundreds of cases beginning with a “demand” letter requesting payment on average of $3,900. Last session, House Bill 115 sought to curb the abuse of the Americans with Disabilities Act. NFIB/Utah was frustrated when the sponsor had some conflicts with leadership and the legislation was held up. NFIB/Utah It will re-double its efforts in 2019 with a different sponsor to get this legislation passed.

Reducing Health-Care Premiums
Health-care premiums continue to increase for small businesses in Utah. The HIP (Health Insurance Premium) reduction for 2019 could cause some concerns in Utah if insurers don’t address that correctly. Utah is asking for a federal waiver for partial Medicaid expansion that NIFB will be watching very closely.

Preventing Government Competition with Private Enterprise
Government competition with private businesses is a constant battle. NFIB has been invested in making sure that government entities don’t internalize private business services. Government entities seem to think that they can do the job faster and cheaper if they do the work. This is not a direction we want them to take because in most instances, it is neither faster nor cheaper.

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