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Statewide Tax Reform Town Halls Kick Off Tomorrow In Brigham City

Photo of money costume in UT Senate.
Utah Senate
During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers touted a tax reform plan. It was ultimately abandonned, though, and a plan to set up a task force in the interim was put in place instead.

The first of eight town hall meetings focused on state tax reform in Utah begins Tuesday evening in Brigham City. The meetings are meant to allow the public to weigh in on the Legislature’s plan to revise Utah’s tax code.

Lawmakers plan to hold a special legislative session to address reforming the state tax structure later this year. The topic emerged in the final weeks of the 2019 legislative session but proved to be too charged of an issue among business and education interests, and was abandoned by lawmakers. 

Instead, the Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force was created to study and propose reforms to Utah’s tax system.

At the task force’s May meeting, state officials said Utahns, like Americans overall, are spending more of their money on services and less on goods. But Utah’s general fund is largely drawn from sales taxes on goods. That leaves what state officials called a “decaying” growth rate of the general fund, which pays for programs ranging from health care and affordable housing to public safety and recreation.

Utah was also the fastest growing state in the nation over the past decade. That growing population has put increased demands on state infrastructure amid a decrease in tax revenue in the general fund.

According to legislative aids, all options for how to reform the tax system are on the table as lawmakers begin the statewide listening tour.

Members of the tax reform task force will be at upcoming town halls where members of the public can listen, give feedback and voice concerns. Town hall meetings will take place throughout Utah in the following locations:

  • Brigham City: Tuesday, June 25, 6 p.m.. USU Brigham Campus Multi-Purpose Room, 989 S. Main St., Brigham City
  • Kearns: Thursday, June 27, 6 p.m.. Elements Event Center, 5658 S. Cougar Lane, Kearns
  • Richfield: Friday, June 28, 5 p.m.. Sevier County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 410 E. 200 S., Richfield
  • St. George: Saturday, June 29, 1 p.m.. Dixie Tech Auditorium and Lobby, 610 S. Tech Ridge Dr., St. George
  • Kaysville: Monday, July 8, 6 p.m. . Davis Tech Business Resource Center, Main Conference Room, 450 S. Simmons Way, Kaysville
  • Roosevelt: Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m.. Crossroads Senior Center, 50 E. 200 S., Roosevelt
  • Moab: Saturday, July 20, 1 p.m. Grand Center, 182 N. 500 W., Moab
  • Lehi: Tuesday, July 30, 6 p.m.. Silicon Slopes/UTC, 2600 Executive Parkway, Ste 140, Lehi
Erik Neumann is a radio producer and writer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, his work has appeared on public radio stations and in magazines along the West Coast. He received his Bachelor's Degree in geography from the University of Washington and a Master's in Journalism from UC Berkeley. Besides working at KUER, he enjoys being outside in just about every way possible.
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