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

Reaching Toward 2050: Education in the Midst of Population Growth

Written by: Mallory Bateman

The prospect of adding 385,000 school-aged Utahns over the next 35 years seems daunting. With this public school growth will come certain challenges, some of which the state has already been facing over the past two decades. Inadequate policy responses to these challenges may have produced a slide in national academic rankings, a decrease in education funding efforts, and an increase in tuition for college students. One way to address growth in the coming decades … Continued

Easing the Burden: Utah Tax Burden Taking Lowest Share of Income in 20 Years

Written by: Mallory Bateman

Over the past several years tax cuts have reduced Utah’s annual revenues by $479 million, or nearly 8%. For Utahns, this means a lower tax burden. Utah Foundation periodically reviews Utah’s tax burden and ranks it among other states. For this review, tax burden is defined as all taxes and mandatory fees collected by the state and local governments as a ratio to $1,000 of personal income. Utah Foundation found that Utah’s state and local … Continued

Fueling Our Future, 2013-2040: Policy Options to Address Utah’s Transportation Needs

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Funding Utah’s transportation needs is a significant economic and fiscal challenge for state policy makers.  Over the next three decades, Utah’s population is set to increase by over 60%. Coupled with this significant growth is the possibility of an increase in vehicle miles traveled.  In the past, the state has relied on the Transportation Fund to support transportation projects, but this has changed in the last two decades as the state has had to rely … 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

The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey of Party Delegates and Voters

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

As part of the 2012 Utah Priorities Project, Utah Foundation and the Hinckley Institute of Politics have surveyed Utah voters and delegates to the major parties’ state conventions.  This survey was conducted for the first time in 2010, showing distinct differences between party delegates and voters, with delegates usually taking more zealous positions than their parties’ voters.  The 2012 survey also shows differences between voters and delegates, but those differences are not as pronounced as … Continued

Utah Priorities Gubernatorial Survey: A Comparison of Candidates’ and Voters’ Top Priorities for 2012

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah Foundation recently released The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey, which provides a summary of the findings of a statewide Dan Jones & Associates survey assessing which issues are most important this election year and how voters feel about Utah’s economy, society and politics.  For the first time, Utah Foundation also requested that the gubernatorial candidates complete part of this survey.  All of the Republican and Democratic candidates and two of three third-party candidates completed the … Continued

The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey: The Top Issues and Concerns of Utah Voters for the 2012 Election

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In this election year, Utahns are more confident that the state is heading in the right direction than they were two years ago. However, they are still not as confident as they were in the 2004 and 2008 elections.  Their concerns about issues like jobs and the economy, public education, and healthcare remain strong.  Some issues that were important in the 2010 election, such as ethics of elected officials, states’ rights vs. the federal government, … Continued

U.S. Federal Deficits and Debt: Understanding the History and Context

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Throughout its history, the U.S. federal government has often operated under a deficit, and has always held a federal debt.  Over this time there have been many debates over these issues, and the current contest over the presence of large deficits and the size of the debt is not surprising.  However, with the drastic increase of the deficit the past few years, and projections that show the persistence of large deficits because of mandatory spending, … Continued