Rick Bowmer, Associated Press
File - In this Sept. 12, 2018 file photo, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert gestures during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. There wasn't much to say during the first official report of the Legislature's Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force to lawmakers on Wednesday.

SALT LAKE CITY — There wasn't much to say during the first official report of the Legislature's Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force to lawmakers on Wednesday.

"No work has been done. Of course, I'm joking," Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, told the Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee. "The task force has had one meeting and in that meeting, the task force announced a schedule."

Fillmore, a member of the task force and co-chairman of the committee, detailed the task force's eight town hall meetings around the state scheduled to start in Brigham City on Tuesday and end in Lehi on July 30.

He said on Monday, a task force website will be unveiled.

The task force was created near the end of the 2019 session in March, after legislative leaders and Gov. Gary Herbert decided to scrap a bill imposing new sales taxes on services amid protests from the public.

But it took until early May to appoint the members of the task force and their first — and so far only — meeting was held later in the month, where the town hall meetings were unveiled.

There was more discussion about tax reform during Wednesday's midday House GOP caucus than during the committee where the progress report was required to be given.

"There's not a lot to update on this because there hasn't been a lot of action yet," House Majority Whip Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, told the caucus. "It hasn't started off as fast, I think, as quickly as what we would have hoped."

Schultz said that's because both House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, and House Majority Leader Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, who serves as task force co-chairman, decided to "slow it down a little bit. Let's make sure we get it right."

Once the town hall meetings are completed, Schultz said the task force will get to work considering both old and new ideas about how to deal with a sales tax base that's shrinking as consumer spending shifts from goods to services.

He said the intent is still to consider a plan from the task force in a special session, even though a number of groups, including the conservative Utah Eagle Forum and the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, want to wait until the 2020 Legislature.

"The idea all along has been to make recommendations to the Legislature in the summer or the fall. That is still the goal. I'd say late fall is still the goal," Schultz said, with a special session "toward the end of this year."

Several House Republicans said they'd like to be provided with information to share with their constituents when they're asked about the work being done on tax reform.

"It would be so helpful if we had talking points," Rep. Travis Seegmiller, R-St. George, said, to stay on the same page as legislative leaders. "We want to be cheerleaders for the efforts."

Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, asked if there are plans to hold town hall meetings after the task force comes up with a replacement for HB441, which also would have lowered sales and income tax rates.

"I just offer as a suggestion that we have a pretty robust series of meetings once we have actual policy," Ivory said. "This is such a big potential shift."

Schultz there will be "several" task force meetings held at the Capitol where the public will be able to weigh in on policy. At the task force's first meeting, no public comment was accepted.

Tax reform task force town hall meeting schedule:

June 25

Brigham City, Utah State University Brigham Campus, multi­purpose room, 989 S. Main

Open house – 6 p.m. Town hall meeting – 7 p.m.

June 27

Kearns, Chamber West Element Event Center, 5658 S. Cougar Lane (4800 West)

Open house – 6 p.m. Town hall meeting – 7 p.m.

June 28

Richfield, Sevier County Fairgrounds, exhibit hall, 410 E. 200 South

Open house – 5 p.m. Town hall meeting – 6 p.m.

June 29

St. George, Dixie Tech, auditorium and lobby, 610 S. Tech Ridge Drive

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Open house – 1 p.m. Town hall meeting – 2 p.m.

July 8

Kaysville, Davis Tech, Business Resource Center, main conference room, 450 S. Simmons Way

Open house – 6 p.m. Town hall meeting – 7 p.m.

July 9

Roosevelt, Crossroads Senior Center, 50 E. 200 South

Open house – 6 p.m. Town hall meeting – 7 p.m.

July 20

Moab, Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West

Open house – 1 p.m. Town hall meeting – 2 p.m.

July 30

Lehi, Silicon Slopes/UTC, 2600 Executive Parkway, Suite 140

Open house – 6 p.m. Town hall meeting – 7 p.m.