SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A legislative task force is traveling the state to get feedback from the public on possible tax reform.
Friday, an expert with a global perspective is in town sharing some ideas.
State leaders say everything is on the table as they consider ways to reform the tax system in our state.
Their decision could have a huge impact on our daily finances.
That’s why local organizations and citizens are keeping a close eye on the process.
“We’re looking for that reasonable approach where we don’t end up increasing taxes on people or create a structure that’s so cumbersome it results in a net increase,” said Sutherland Institute president Rick Larsen.
To help further the conversation, the Sutherland Institute is hosting Grover Norquist.
He is president of Americans for Tax Reform, a group created by President Ronald Reagan.
He says one of the first steps for any state government considering tax reform should be to look within.
“Focus as much on what the government spends, and how much, and whether it can competently do better,” said Norquist.
He also says it’s crucial to consider the unintended consequences.
“How difficult is it, what does the paperwork cost, what’s the time cost, what’s the dead weight cost on certain taxes on small businessmen and women and on individuals.”
And, he says even if the plan is revenue neutral, it won’t sit well with citizens if they are paying taxes on things they haven’t in the past.
One of the ideas drawing harsh criticism in our state is taxing a broad range of services.
Norquist says that can be costly for politicians.
He points to Bob Martinez, a former governor of Florida as an example.
“Got wiped out the next election because people say it as a massive tax increase on many, many, many products and services they had never been taxed on before,” Norquist said.
The task force still has two town hall meetings left in Moab and Lehi.