Op-Ed: Tax reform may be on pause, but the issues roll on

Written by: Peter Reichard

Writing on tax reform back in December, I quoted Thomas Jefferson: “Politics … holds up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error.” Well, apparently state political leaders saw the glow of firelight coming over the hillside, because the tax reform in question was quickly thereafter thrown out. This leaves the issues that motivated reform unresolved. To give Utahns a better idea of what that means, Utah Foundation recently released “Now What? A Citizen’s … Continued

Video: How Utahns Pay for Water

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation’s first short video of 2020 is an overview of five reports from 2019 that make up the Paying for Water series. The series outlines the pros and cons of a greater reliance on water rates, and how this might affect certain areas of concern. Paying For Water Series This series contains an executive summary and four main parts: Executive Summary: Paying for Water: A Brief Summary of the Series Part 1 – Background: … Continued

The leaves are falling. What about taxes?

Written by: Peter Reichard

Autumn is not the season we usually associate with discussions of state tax policy. But with comprehensive tax reform failing to blossom last spring at the close of the general session, state legislators are working to bring reform to fruition before winter sets in. The push for reform comes at a time of prosperity for Utah – but also a time when structural challenges are becoming increasingly apparent. As Utah Foundation revealed in its 2018 … Continued

How should we pay for water? A matter of priorities

Written by: Peter Reichard

It can be said that the modern history of Utah began with water — and a bet. The year was 1824, and Jim Bridger was sitting around with his fellow mountain men in Cache Valley, on the banks of the Bear River, laying bets over where the water flowed. To settle the bet, Bridger followed the river down and found a giant, briny inland sea. Ever since, water has shaped the contours of Utah’s history … 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 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

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