Politics
5:09 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Utah House Passes Tax Breaks for Businesses that Hire the Homeless

Democratic Representative Brian King of Salt Lake County, crafted a bill that would give businesses tax breaks if they hire people who are homeless.
Credit Courtesy of Utah State Legislature.

Members of the Utah House passed a bill today that would give businesses a tax break if they hire people who are homeless.  

Salt Lake County Democrat Brian King crafted the bill that would give businesses a tax credit of between five hundred and two thousand dollars for hiring an individual who is homeless. King said the legislation is designed to help some live more stable lives.

"What this is doing is giving individuals and a group of individuals who are struggling to be contributing citizens an opportunity to join our ranks as contributors," said King.

But Republican Curt Webb of Logan wondered if the bill  would take jobs away from other struggling groups.

"Instead of hiring the person that struggled to stay in their home and may be unemployed at the time, I’m going to be incentivized to hire the homeless person instead," said Webb.

But not all Republicans spoke against the bill.  Sandy Representative Steve Eliason said it would be a good tax break for businesses.

"I think this is both good business, good tax policy and good humanitarian policy," said Eliason.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 41-32. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.