There was a strong local turnout for the Utah Legislative Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force Town Hall meeting held in Roosevelt on Tuesday evening. The Roosevelt meeting was the 6th of 8 stops on the task force’s ‘listening tour’ aimed at gathering public input as well as presenting the struggles that the state budget is facing. Throughout the night it was emphasized by the task force that what the state is facing is a revenue allocation imbalance that is especially challenging moving into a future with continued population growth and a modern, changing economy. There was time for gathering about 20 public comments and after each comment, the crowd of well over 100 people had the chance to raise their hand if they agreed with the comment made. Majority of the comments were against tax restructuring, specifically the proposed service tax. Uintah County Commissioner Bart Haslem was among those to offer input. Haslem emphasized that rural counties and the Uintah Basin economy is completely different from the Wasatch Front. He stated that the service tax affects the ability to attract businesses and asked that the state help rather than hinder business growth, a sentiment that was echoed by others as well. After all, when there is industry growth in the Uintah Basin, the entire state enjoys the growth in mineral lease funds. Senator Lyle Hillyard, the task force co-chair, stated afterwards that he was impressed with the meeting’s turnout, the respect that was demonstrated, and the articulate manner in which each comment was made. Comments can still be submitted through www.strongerfutures.utah.gov.