New data show Utah still last in nation in per-pupil spending

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Is Utah still last in the nation in per-pupil spending? Yes. Census data released on May 21 show that Utah is still last at $7,179. Nonetheless, spending has been on the increase in Utah and nationally. In fact, U.S. per-pupil spending has increased for five straight years. It now stands at $12,201 per student. That puts Utah at 59% of the national average. But how are Utah students performing? Future Utah Foundation research will look … Continued

Utah Thrives: Teacher Pay

Written by: Dan Bammes

Why should a young person in Utah make the career decision to become a teacher? Why do potential teachers often choose another line of work? And how do Utah’s pay scales for teachers compare to other Mountain states and the nation? In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll talk about the new Utah Foundation report Apples to Apples: How Teacher Pay in Utah Stacks up to the Competition. We’ll hear from Utah Foundation President Peter … Continued

Utah’s thriving economy complicates teacher pay challenge

Written by: Peter Reichard

It’s usually a simple equation. If you want high-performing schools, you need high-performing teachers. The question – particularly for a fast-growing state like Utah – is how to attract and retain them. In its new report, Apples to Apples? How Teacher Pay in Utah Stacks Up to the Competition, Utah Foundation reveals that average teacher pay in our state is well below the national average and at the bottom of the eight Mountain States. But … Continued

Utah Thrives – The Future of Taxation in Utah

Written by: Dan Bammes

The 2019 legislative session ended without a significant restructuring of Utah’s sales tax system. There’s agreement on the general goals – broadening the base of goods and services subject to the sales tax – but the clock ran out on the session before the details could be negotiated. State Senator Luz Escamilla, a Democrat, and Representative Robert Spendlove, a Republican, presented their thoughts on where the process is going now when they spoke to the … Continued

Utah Thrives – Tax Modernization

Written by: Dan Bammes

What did Utah’s governor mean when he told the Legislature that tax modernization is his top priority for this session? What’s not modern about our tax system — specifically, sales taxes? In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear what the governor had to say on the subject as well as from Research Analyst Christopher Collard, the author of Utah Foundation’s award-winning studies on sales, property and income taxes in Utah. And we’ll hear from … Continued

Utah Foundation’s Top Research Findings of 2018

Written by: Dan Bammes

  Utah Foundation published research reports on a broad range of public policy issues in 2018, each with significant findings that will influence political discussion and decisions for years to come. At the end of the year, we asked our Board of Trustees, a diverse group representing a broad range of business and community leaders, to rank the findings they felt were most important. Here’s what they determined, along with links to each of the … Continued

Helping criminal offenders find freedom

Written by: Peter Reichard

Somewhere in our state right now, an inmate is struggling with the slavery of substance abuse. He has fallen into a downward spiral of addiction and criminality, and has landed behind bars. Drug use and crime are often entangled. Some offenders with substance use disorders are arrested on drug possession charges; others may be arrested for crimes committed to fund an addiction. In short, many criminal offenders are people caught in the downward spiral of … Continued

Utah Thrives: Utah’s State Budget and Board Chair Elizabeth Hitch

Written by: Dan Bammes

The most important job for Utah’s state legislature as it prepares to go into its general session is to pass a balanced state budget. The governor provides legislators with a budget outline in December, and the day it was released, Utah Foundation hosted a breakfast with special guests Kristen Cox, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, along with Phil Dean, the office’s Budget Director and Chief Economist. We’ll hear some … Continued

How the Utah Legislature fine tuned its 2018 income tax changes

Written by: Christopher Collard

The past twelve months have been a wild ride for income taxes. Utah’s last major income tax reform took place back in 2008. Since then the income tax has seen relatively few changes. However, that changed at the end of 2017 when Congress passed a bill modifying the federal income tax. Because Utah’s tax system is linked to the federal system (which makes it easier for you to figure out your state taxes), those federal … Continued

Utah Foundation wins top awards for policy research

Written by: Dan Bammes

The Governmental Research Association, the national organization for public policy research professionals, has recognized Utah Foundation’s work with two of its top awards. The selections were announced August 1st at GRA’s national conference in Detroit. The three-part Utah Health Cost Series was honored with the Most Distinguished Research award. Utah voters put health care at the top of their list of priorities during 2016’s Utah Priorities Project, with their concern focused mainly on the cost … Continued