Sen. Lyle Hillyard, approaching his 40th year on Utah’s Capitol Hill, pondering changes to Utah’s sales tax

Approaching his 40th year of legislative service, Senator Lyle Hillyard of Logan told Cache Valley Daily that one of the issues Utah faces is a diminishing sales tax base.

“Someone told me that in the 1930s when we passed sales tax, 76 percent of what you bought was subject to a sales tax. Now it’s less than 40 percent,” Sen. Hillyard claimed. “That’s because we’re buying more and more services, and we’re buying things out of state where the state can’t collect sales tax from the vendor.

“That’s changing somewhat with the recent Supreme Court decision. But as long as the sales tax is diminishing, or at least is not growing, it really hurts state government funding because sales tax is the life blood of state government.”

He said the question that needs an answer is, what products and services did Utahns used to pay sales tax on that we don’t anymore.

Governor Gary Herbert has called for an increase in the base but did not specify which areas too include. Hillyard said lawyer fees, realtor fees and CPA fees have not been subject to any kind of tax. But Hillyard said he doesn’t see much interest in the legislature to do that.

Utah’s 45-day legislative session begins Monday, Jan. 28.

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1 Comment

  • M G Durrant January 18, 2019 at 1:10 am Reply

    That’s because most legislators are lawyers, real estate agents/brokers/developers, accountants, mortgage brokers, bankers etc. all exempt from sales tax.

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