Utah Thrives: Taxing Online Commerce

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah is one of several states working to find a way to tax the millions of dollars its residents spend buying things online. Of several different legal strategies, the approach being taken in South Dakota appears to be leading the way, at least until Congress chooses to act on the issue. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we hear from Utah State Senator Curt Bramble, Overstock.com executive Jonathan Johnson, Holladay City Council member Steve Gunn … Continued

Looking Back at Utah Foundation Research in 2016

Written by: Dan Bammes

Maybe there’s enough time in these final days of 2016 to catch our breath. We’re looking back at Utah Foundation’s research reports as well as the Utah Priorities Project. A monumental election season has concluded, with a challenging session of Utah’s legislature just ahead. Here’s our ranking of the top ten research findings of the past year, along with links to a report or research brief on each. 1 Only half of new education funds go … Continued

Utah Thrives — Haven Barlow Looks Back

Written by: Dan Bammes

Partisan politics – the seemingly irreconcilable conflicts between political leaders that seem to characterize all our public discourse – has been a significant concern for voters the last two times Utah Foundation has conducted the Utah Priorities Project. Voters placed it at Number 8 on the top ten list in 2012 and put it again in 8th place in 2016. Yet it wasn’t so long ago that cooperation between officeholders in Utah’s legislature and elsewhere … Continued

Utah Thrives — Proposals for Full-Day Kindergarten

Written by: Dan Bammes

The Utah Foundation Research Report Lessons from Our Neighbor: Learning from Colorado’s Educational Success pointed out much broader participation in full-day kindergarten in Colorado. In Utah, 13% of five-year olds attend full-day kindergarten. In Colorado, that number is 74%. Data from Colorado’s Department of Education show the boost kids get from participating in high-quality preschool and full-day kindergarten programs continues into high school. Here in Utah, there have been a number of steps toward implementing … Continued

2015 Top Ten – Transportation Funding & Traffic Safety

Written by: Dan Bammes

The Utah Foundation Board of Trustees determined the issue of transportation funding was the top research finding of the year in our published reports. Highway safety is a related issue, and the question of using mobile phones while driving was ranked eighth among the top ten.   Transportation Funding   The Utah Foundation research report The Roads Less Traveled: Survey Analysis and Research Regarding Utah’s Local Roads included a survey of local government officials from … Continued

Utah’s Health Care Conversation Moves Ahead

Written by: Dan Bammes

Those who attended Utah Foundation’s Across the Spectrum event on April 2nd got a different kind of legislative wrapup, including a discussion of the most important thing the legislature didn’t do – act on Governor Gary Herbert’s proposal to provide health care to Utahns who don’t qualify for Medicaid or for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Healthy Utah was passed in the Utah Senate, but had so little support among Republicans in the House … Continued

Public schools shoulder the burden of tax cuts

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

For many years, Utah Foundation has written about the decline in Utah’s investment in K-12 education. In the 1990s, it was common to hear about Utah’s “education paradox” – a term Utah Foundation coined to describe how a very high funding effort could yield a small amount per pupil. In 1995, for example, the proportion of income that Utahns paid for public schools ranked seventh highest in the nation, yet per-pupil funding was last in … Continued

Utah’s Economy: Growing Fast, Leaving Some Behind

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah Foundation President Steve Kroes appeared on a panel at the presentation of this year’s Economic Report to Governor with economist Carrie Mayne from the Utah Department of Workforce Services Each year, the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah publishes an Economic Report to the Governor. The 2015 report was presented on Friday, January 9th to a breakfast meeting of business, state and community leaders at the Marriott City Center … Continued

Utah Aims Low on Revenue Projections

Written by: Christopher Collard

The governor recently announced an additional $638 million in revenues for the coming fiscal year. This total is made up of 2014 and 2015 revenue growth above projections and some funds that were not used in previous years. Some attribute the surplus to a spike in economic growth. While Utah’s economy is outperforming the rest of the nation there might other factors behind the surplus. To begin with, whether Utah brings in revenue above predictions … Continued

Does Utah have a debt problem?

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah has a debt problem. But Utah needs to build some vital projects. Both perspectives were presented at our Bacon, Biscuits and Bonds breakfast event at the Capitol today. We learned some very interesting facts and heard some great arguments for several proposals. Here are a few notes: Treasurer Richard Ellis urged lawmakers to slow down in requesting new bond-funded projects. Utah’s debt levels have risen dramatically since 2009, with debt now around $1,000 per … Continued