LOGAN – As a state task force still works out the details of what was House Bill 441 on sales tax reform, State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said the town hall meetings which started in Logan last spring have been very productive.
“We had, an hour before the meeting, an Open House. We had displays, we had signs, we had staff and we had every member of the task force there to visit with people. I found out more in that one hour than in the meetings. Because when we had the two hour meetings, most people came up with written, prepared statements (school teachers, lawyers, accountants, etc). All these people came up and generally spoke against the bill,” he explained.
On KVNU’s For the People program on Monday, Sen. Hillyard said after getting input from the public either at the meetings or emails or in other settings, the task force had the study phase. That’s where they looked at each issue, such as a sales tax on food and what things they would have to do to protect those with limited income.
He said the work is not done; they will meet next Monday, Nov. 25th, and he doubts that is not the last one. Hillyard explained why they are looking at taxing services.
“If we don’t do it then I think we’ll solve the problem maybe for five years. Then we’ll be back with the same thing again, because the sales tax base is not growing as fast as population. And if it isn’t, general fund’s our lifeblood. Without general fund, we don’t fund education, we don’t fund clean air, we don’t fund the Rio Grande problem, we don’t fund health and human services.”
The reform proposals will likely go through a full legislative debate in a special session and will probably be tweaked and changed. You can more of the interview with Hillyard below.
AUDIO: Sen.Lyle Hillyard on KVNU’s For the People on 11/18/2019