PODCAST: Utah Thrives – Local economic development incentives

January 26, 2021 (UtahPolicy.com) -

Are Utah’s Local Governments Optimizing their Use of Tax Incentives? In this edition of Utah Thrives” by Utah Foundation, they discuss the findings of Utah Foundation’s December 2020 report: Insights on Incentives: Optimizing Local Approaches to Tax Incentives in Utah. Listen here.

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Can the telework revolution improve traffic and air quality in Utah?

January 26, 2021 (Deseret News) -

Every couple of decades, the trajectory of modern history pivots on game-changing innovations: the rise of trains, planes and automobiles; the invention of the light bulb; the birth of television; the emergence of the PC; the dawn of the internet. We are due for another pivot, and it may have arrived in the form of a remote revolution. With the lockdowns of 2020, the worldwide embrace of telehealth, e-commerce, telemeetings, online education and telework suddenly … Continued

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Study shows Utah leads the region in tele-work

January 14, 2021 (Cache Valley Daily) -

On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Shawn Teigen, research director for the organization, was a guest. He has authored a report on tele-work, which became popular early on in the pandemic. The report showed that more than half of Utah’s households have at least one person that has made what might be a permanent shift to remote work in the past 12 months.

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New Utah Foundation report looks at shift to telework, impacts on air quality

January 14, 2021 (UtahPolicy.com) -

The events of the past year have forced a major shift to telework in Utah, with important implications for traffic, air quality and growth. Today, Utah Foundation releases The Way Home: The Shift to Telework and its Air Quality Ramifications, which focuses on how remote work relates to air quality in Utah, provides new insights gained during 2020, and looks toward the future interplay of remote work and air quality. It is the second installment … Continued

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How lessons learned from teleworking could help clean Utah’s air

January 13, 2021 (Deseret News) -

A new report by the Utah Foundation predicts that teleworking — to some degree — will remain in place as an option for some employees even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, which could help Utah’s air quality. The report found that in Utah, more than half of households had at least one person shift to remote work as a result of the pandemic, the largest increase among Intermountain states that include Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, … Continued

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Peter Reichard: Development tax breaks need oversight

December 16, 2020 (Salt Lake Tribune) -

It looked like a stroke of genius. Back in the 1950s, California officials, looking to fund economic development projects under tight budget constraints, created a mechanism known as tax increment financing, or TIF. The idea was to pledge new (or incremental) tax revenue generated from a project to make the project itself possible. It would be a clean win for the public, because the only money to be spent would be money that would not … Continued

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Do Utah lawmakers listen to the people they serve? Most voters say no.

December 16, 2020 (Salt Lake Tribune) -

Two out of three Utah voters believe state lawmakers listen to business, religious or special interest groups more than they do voters, according to the Utah Foundation. The nonprofit surveyed hundreds of Utahns for its Utah Priorities Project and found that voters in March ranked the unresponsiveness of politicians as the top issue. But in July, well into the coronavirus pandemic, it had dropped to No. 6 behind health care, taxes, education, the economy and … Continued

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PODCAST: Homeless in Salt Lake

December 16, 2020 (UtahPolicy.com) -

In November, Utah Foundation held a Breakfast Briefing on the topic of homelessness, sponsored by the University of Utah’s College of Social and Behavioral Science. The panel of experts featured: Tricia Davis, of the Utah Homelessness Programs Office Utah Representative Eric Hutchings Dr. Jeff Rose, of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah Dr. Jesús N. Valero, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah The panelists … Continued

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Tax Incentives A Commonly Used Tool In Utah

December 10, 2020 (KUER) -

Local governments in Utah are twice as likely to use tax incentives to fund economic development compared to other municipalities around the country according to a new report from the non-profit group Utah Foundation. The incentives, also known as ‘tax increment financing’, are used to encourage growth by making building costs more affordable for developers. And while Utah governments are more likely to use these incentives, the report found they could also be more transparent … Continued

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Policy Savants Panel: Is now the time to bond for infrastructure?

December 09, 2020 (UtahPolicy.com) -

Interest rates are at historic lows, Utah’s AAA bond rating is still going strong, and we have significant bonding capacity, even within the state’s tight statutory and constitutional constraints. Under normal circumstances, these factors alone would make this an advantageous time to consider a bonding program for infrastructure. But with Utah and its local governments exploring options for economic stimulus, a strong case can be made for focusing efforts on infrastructure. Investments in infrastructure protect … Continued

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Utah voters say elected officials don’t listen very well

December 01, 2020 (UtahPolicy.com) -

Utah Foundation has released the sixth in a series of Utah Priorities Project briefs looking at Utah voters’ top concerns. The 2020 Priorities survey revealed a new voter priority for 2020: Politicians listening to voters. The survey showed that Utah voters believe that elected officials are paying too little attention to voters in favor of corporations, religious organizations, the well-connected or special interest groups. When prioritized among other issues in early March 2020, politicians listening … Continued

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Policy Savant Panel: Can Utah become a top-tier education state with low per-pupil funding?

November 18, 2020 (UtahPolicy.com) -

We regularly query leaders from the state’s policy institutes/think tanks regarding timely policy issues important to the state. Here is our latest question and responses from our panel of policy savants: In normal (non-pandemic) times, Utah’s public education system performs quite well, despite our lowest-in-the-country spending per pupil. But if Utah aspires to be a top-five education state, can we do so at current per-pupil spending levels? At what spending level can we achieve top-in-the-country … Continued

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Utah Thrives Podcast: Efosa Ojomo on The Prosperity Paradox

November 12, 2020 (UtahPolicy.com) -

When Clayton Christensen passed away at the beginning of this year, Utah lost one of its most prominent sons. The Harvard business professor had become, as one observer put it, the “the most influential management thinker of his time” and his theory of “disruptive innovation” perhaps the most influential business idea. In this edition of Utah Foundation’s Utah Thrives, we hear about Christensen’s legacy from Efosa Ojomo, who co-wrote a book with Christensen and who … Continued

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Utahns chose to dramatically change education funding. What comes next?

November 06, 2020 (Deseret News) -

Lost in all the attention surrounding the vote-counting for president is the fact that Utahns decided last Tuesday to dramatically change the way they fund public education. Amendment G, the proposal to remove the constitutional provision requiring all income tax funds in the state be dedicated to public and higher education, is passing easily, according to official ballot counts posted Thursday. That means another bill lawmakers passed earlier this year will take effect, which sets … Continued

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Homeless Service Providers Embracing Innovation in Face of Pandemic

November 05, 2020 (UtahPolicy.com) -

Utah Foundation has released the next installment in its Homelessness Series. Widening the Doors of Hope: Addressing Coronavirus-Related Challenges Among Homeless Service Providers explores the coping strategies and innovations that providers are adopting to withstand the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Among the findings of the report…

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How to Help the Homeless

November 04, 2020 (City Weekly) -

The weather’s changing and Utah’s homeless population will soon be left out in the cold. The Road Home has closed and satellite operations have not all had the desired effect. The Utah Foundation plans to address these questions at Homeless in Salt Lake: The COVID-19 Response and People on Streets: How have Utah’s homeless service providers dealt with the pandemic? Where are the efforts to address service gaps going? How should we approach those who … Continued

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Utahns over 40 are out-voting younger generations, deciding representation and policy

November 03, 2020 (KJZZ TV) -

Christopher Collard, a research analyst at Utah Foundation, says it takes a while for young people to develop roots in a community and that’s reflected in voter participation by age. He says: “Millennials and post-millennials, they make up almost half of the adult population in Utah. They only make up one-third of the voting population.” A quick breakdown of Utah’s Gen-Z and Millennial population. (KUTV) Millennials are the largest generation in the state, but Gen … Continued

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Sakievich builds strong lead for empty Utah County Commission seat

November 03, 2020 (Herald Extra) -

According to Bowen’s campaign site, if elected, she is planning to prioritize the Utah Foundation’s list of issues, which was formed from a statewide survey conducted in 2016. The list includes water supply and quality, air quality, crime, healthcare, jobs and the economy, homelessness and poverty, K-12 education, taxes, the environment, and partisan politics.

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Utahns over 40 are out-voting younger generations, deciding representation and policy

November 03, 2020 (KMYU TV) -

Christopher Collard, a research analyst at Utah Foundation, says it takes a while for young people to develop roots in a community and that’s reflected in voter participation by age. He says: “Millennials and post-millennials, they make up almost half of the adult population in Utah. They only make up one-third of the voting population.” A quick breakdown of Utah’s Gen-Z and Millennial population. (KUTV) Millennials are the largest generation in the state, but Gen … Continued

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Utah’s Partisan Divide Has Widened Since The 2016 Election

November 02, 2020 (KUER) -

In the time since the last presidential election, Republicans and Democrats in Utah have become more ideologically divided, according to a new report from the Utah Foundation. The report found, through a survey, that Republicans in Utah are just about as conservative as they were in 2016, but Democrats have become more liberal. The number of “consistently liberal” voters in the state increased by 23%. “A shift towards taking more liberal positions — it kind … Continued

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