SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic Senate candidate Scott Howell refuted Senator Orrin Hatch’s remarks made Tuesday on the coming tax increases set to take effect at the beginning of 2013.

"Scott Howell has been very clear in his position on this issue. Scott supports extending the tax cuts for the 98 percent of families earning less than $500,000 per year,” Howell’s campaign said Wednesday in a statement to the Deseret News. “Orrin Hatch has also been clear. He will block cutting taxes for working class families unless the cuts for millionaires and billionaires are also extended.“

Hatch expressed his concerns about “taxmaggedon,” or the end of 2001 Bush-era tax cuts scheduled to expire at the beginning of 2013, during a meeting with business leaders in the Grand America Hotel on Tuesday.

The "taxmaggedon" will hurt an economy that is struggling to crawl out of the recession, Hatch said during the Mountain West Capital Network’s Utah 100 event.

Hatch called for an appeal to ObamaCare and a simplified tax plan to help small businesses grow.

Howell, former Utah Senate minority leader, shared concerns of his own in the statement.

“Scott Howell is concerned that if Orrin Hatch has his way, millions of working-class Americans will see their taxes rise at the expense of a few thousand millionaires. Utah voters will have the opportunity to decide with whom they agree."

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