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Report: Utah Missing Out On $426M From Sales Tax Exemptions

A state report estimates that Utah missed out on about $426 million in the last budget year due to exemptions, from aviation fuel to college text books.

Utah lawmakers plan to consider scaling back some of the 90 sales tax exemptions this summer.

Billy Hesterman, of a nonprofit taxpayer group, says some exemptions can help spur economic growth. When a car manufacturer doesn't have to pay sales tax on the wrench he used to build a car, he can use that money to hire more employees and build more products.

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Republican Gov. Gary Herbert had urged lawmakers to scrutinize tax policies during the recently completed legislative session, in hopes of freeing up some money for such things as education. Although legislators considered several changes, they ultimately backed away before any bill came out.