The 2019 General Legislative Session of the Utah Legislature wrapped up in March with one important policy held for further debate and one bill defeated that would have negatively impacted AT&T, our contractors and our customers in Utah.
In the months leading up to the session, lawmakers had been making the case for a significant tax overhaul in Utah. A primary element of their proposal included a new tax on services. Their proposal (HB441) was not officially unveiled until late in the 45-day session, and legislative leadership and the governor announced a short time later they planned to forego efforts to pass the bill during the session, opting instead to try and refine the policy in time for either a special session in the fall or the 2020 Legislative Session.
Recent reports show the proposal to tax services is still on the table, though other options are also under consideration, including those that give lawmakers more flexibility in how they spend tax funds. Currently, the Utah Constitution requires all income tax monies to be spent on public education.
Along with most businesses in the state, AT&T is monitoring this situation closely and will keep our teams engaged in the ongoing negotiations on this complicated issue.
We also succeeded during the session to defeat HB490, a bill covering both net-neutrality and privacy. Through meetings with the bill sponsor and its late introduction to the legislative process, we were able to avoid a single hearing on this bill.