A coalition of more than 20 Utah businesses and associations sent a letter earlier this week to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), praising his cautious stance on the controversial Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). 

Hatch recently acknowledged the controversies of the BAT and has said that he has “some real reservations about it.” He also believes it could dampen chances for an overall tax reform package, which is why he is exploring other alternatives.  The Utah business coalition expressed concern that a 20 percent BAT will dramatically increase the cost of doing business.

“If the BAT passes, our industry will be forced into very undesirable choices—passing costs on to consumers, downsizing or closing business altogether.  That’s very troubling when you consider that retail supports more than 393,000 jobs in Utah and contributes more than $21 billion to the state’s economy,” the letter stated.  “In the U.S., our industry represents one in four jobs.  That’s 42 million employed Americans that are helping drive the economy. “

The coalition also highlighted the impact of the BAT on consumers, who could see costs for everyday essentials like food, gas, clothing and medicine increase by $1,700 per household.  Over the next ten years, it would equate to a whopping price hike of more than $1 trillion on American families and small businesses.  A survey released last week by Americans for Affordable Products found that voters are deeply opposed to the BAT.  A strong majority (63%) of voters oppose the Border Adjustment Tax, including 46% of voters who strongly oppose this proposed tax. 

“We agree with your sentiments and reservations on the BAT and are also concerned that this divisive provision could ultimately jeopardize comprehensive tax reform,” the letter to Hatch concluded.  “We trust that you will stay true to your pro-growth principles and reject the BAT in favor of creating a new tax code that benefits all.”

To view the letter, click here.

Signers of the Utah coalition letter include:

Utah Food Industry Association

Utah Retail Merchants Association

Reams Food Stores

Associated Food Stores Inc.

Associated Retail Operations

Davis Food and Drug

Kent’s Markets

TD Sports Sales

Harmon’s

Lee’s Marketplace Inc.

Kamas Foodtown

Melaney Marketing

Ace Hardware of Kamas

Ace Hardware of Provo

7-Eleven - Utah

Blue Mountain Foods

Pro Image Sports

Pro Image Sports Ogden

Pro Image Sports West Valley

Barretts Foodtown

9th & 9th Jewelers