Sales tax reform will be the topic of discussion Wednesday night during a town hall meeting at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Logan.
Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, who was recently appointed as the co-chair of a tax reform task force in search of a solution to the state’s shrinking sales tax base, will be conducting the town hall.
“The first thing we are going to do is to educate people to exactly what is the problem,” said Hillyard.
The issue facing state finances is income tax revenues, used for public and higher education, are outpacing growth in sales tax collections as consumer spending moves from goods to services. Although sales tax in the state is growing, according to Hillyard, it’s growing slower than the demand for all government services, other than schools.
With just a week left before the 2019 legislative session ended, Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders rejected a tax reform plan extending sales taxes to services.
The bill, House Bill 441, would have imposed taxes on services not traditionally taxed by the state in an effort to ultimately lower sales and income tax.
The governor said he’d liked to see a new plan dealt with in a special session.
“The task force has been charged with the responsibility to take a look at what the problem is and make suggestions on how to solve it,” said Hillyard.
The format during Wednesday night’s town hall is to “simplify and explain” the current tax issues, then listen to suggestions and feedback from the public.
Hillyard and members of the tax task force will spend the next few months holding similar town hall meetings across the state in an effort to educate Utah residents on tax reform.
“Hopefully, we’ll have the recommendations then we’ll meet with the governor, with our caucuses, then the full senate,” explained Hillyard.
The meeting at the Cache Historic Courthouse, 199 N. Main Street, Logan is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15.