The Essential Tax: Property Taxation in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Download this report. Property tax is one of the legs of Utah’s “three-legged stool” of tax revenues, along with the income and sales taxes. During the nineties and early aughts, the property tax was the smallest revenue generator of the three. However, with the 2008 income tax reform and the erosion of sales tax revenues, the three have been more equal, with the property tax bringing in approximately $3.3 billion in 2016, compared to $3.6 … Continued

Simple Arithmetic? K-12 Education Spending in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Download this report.   SOME CLAIM UTAH NEEDS MORE MONEY for K-12 public education. Others assert there is waste in the current K-12 public education budget. Simple Arithmetic? K-12 Education Spending in Utah can help readers answer for themselves questions about sufficiency and waste. It explains education finance and financial transparency. It explores revenues and spending in Utah and provides national comparisons. It also discusses data availability – and the next steps in education finance … Continued

Getting By with Less: Two Decades of K-12 Education Revenue and Spending

Written by: Christopher Collard

Over the past twenty years, Utah’s K-12 education funding effort – or the amount spent per $1,000 personal income – has decreased from 7th highest in the nation to 37th. The decline has resulted in a nearly 29% decrease in tax revenue, which equates to a $1.2 billion reduction of funds available annually for public K-12 education. This would equate to an increase in funding of nearly $2,000 per pupil, or an average of over … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #3: K-12 Education

Written by: Web Admin

Utahns have always ranked K-12 education as a one of their top three concerns in the Utah Priorities Project. In 2016, K-12 education ranked third. Survey Responses Level of Concern In the Utah Priorities Project, over two-thirds (68%) of Utahns had a high level of concern for K-12 education (rating it a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). Liberal respondents were slightly more concerned than moderate and conservative respondents, but over 81% of “very … Continued

Lessons from Our Neighbor: Learning from Colorado’s Educational Success

Written by: Christopher Collard

In the early 1990s Utah ranked in the top 15 states on all four major national tests. Utah lost ground in the late nineties and now ranks in the middle twenties among the states. Colorado also slipped in national rankings, but contrary to Utah, Colorado quickly rebounded, and has been in the top 15 in reading and math for the last decade despite spending less than the national average on education. This report explores a … Continued

The Role of Bonds in Utah: A Guide to Utah Bonding and its Benefits and Limitations

Written by: Mallory Bateman

The State of Utah borrows billions of dollars to finance large capital projects. Several such projects loom on the horizon, including the prison relocation, highway construction, and water projects. In consideration of these needs, Utah Foundation researched whether it is beneficial for Utah to maintain the practice of bonding with shorter terms, or if it might be useful to extend the term lengths. The report first explains what municipal bonds are, how they work, and … Continued

The Affordable Care Act: Placing Healthcare Reform in a Historical and Comparative Context

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Healthcare has been an important issue for Utah voters throughout the past decade, but the 2012 Utah Priorities Survey revealed they are now more concerned with it.  In the 2012 survey, 69% of respondents indicated that they were concerned or very concerned with healthcare, making it the fourth most important issue to voters in this election year. Healthcare is not only an important issue to voters, but a divisive one as well.  The Utah Priorities … Continued

Utah Priorities 2012, Issue #2: K-12 Education

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In 2012, voters listed K-12 education as the 2nd most important priority in the election year. Utah voters have ranked K-12 education as one of their top three concerns in each of the Utah Priorities Project surveys dating back to 2004. Voters list the top three issues within K-12 education as funding, student preparation for college and career, and teacher quality. This report addresses those funding challenges, as well as recent budgetary and policy developments. … Continued

Utah Priorities 2012, Issue #5: Taxes & Government Spending

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In 2012, voters listed higher taxes and government spending as the 5th most important priority in the election year. This policy brief explains that while Utah has historically had a high burden of taxes and fees, its burden has actually fallen below the national average in recent years. This is largely due to major reductions in Utah’s income and sales taxes in 2006 and 2007. These changes, as well as the Great Recession, had significant … Continued

Utah Priorities 2012, Issue #6: Higher Education

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In 2012, voters listed higher education as the 6th most important priority in the election year. This policy brief addresses the increase in enrollment in Utah’s colleges and universities, the decrease in state funding for higher education, and the increase in tuition throughout USHE institutions. It also discusses the issue of student loan debt, which is currently at a record high in the U.S. Finally, it examines the goal that by 2020, 66% of Utah’s … Continued