Priced Out and Fed Up: Cost of Living and Government Dysfunction are Voters’ Top Issues

Written by: Christopher Collard

Each November, Utahns have a chance to shape government to fit their needs. Ideally, the voters’ voices serve as a compass to correct the course of government and shape society. However, information gaps can preclude an ideal outcome. First, politicians and policymakers need to understand Utahns’ priorities. Second, voters need relevant background on the issues that matter most. The Utah Foundation’s Utah Priority Project seeks to fill those information gaps and provide that background. Priced … Continued

Moving Utahns Toward Homeownership: Benefits, Rates, Affordability, and Obstacles

Written by: John Salevurakis

The American Dream is deeply embedded in the identity and ethos of the United States. At its core is the belief that anyone – regardless of their background – can achieve success, upward mobility, and a better life through hard work, determination, and opportunity. Homeownership is both a symbol of achieving the American Dream and a way it is achieved. Policymakers are increasingly focused on housing as it has become a significant issue for voters … Continued

Healthy Communities: Enhancing Open Space

Written by: John Salevurakis

Utah’s natural resource endowments and its past cultivation of urban and suburban open spaces will likely continue to spur population growth in the future. As a result, additional stress will be placed upon existing endowments. Doing nothing in the coming years threatens to decrease the quality of life that Utahns – both newcomers and long-timers alike – have come to expect and value. This report provides an understanding of why open space is important, looks … Continued

The Comforts of Home: Family Life in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

UTAH SOCIAL CAPITAL SERIES Check out the other sections of the Utah Social Capital Series. Links will become live as reports are published Civic Engagement Social Trust Community Life Family Health Social Cohesion Focus on Future Generations Social Mobility Overall Index Family is the basic building-block of society and a core component of social capital. To the extent that families are stable, the larger civilization benefits from greater social stability. To the extent that family … Continued

Measuring the Miles: Road Usage Charges in Utah

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah has joined about a dozen states in exploring a new kind of revenue for road maintenance that charges drivers for miles driven, rather than fuel consumed. While many states have conducted research and pilot projects on road usage charges, Utah and Oregon are the only two states with currently operating programs. Measuring the Miles: Road Usage Charges in Utah examines the broader movement toward road usage charges among the states; how these charges can be … Continued

Beating the Odds: Post-Secondary Success for Adult, First-Generation and Lower-Income Students

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Beating the Odds: Post-Secondary Success for Adult, First-Generation and Lower-Income Students explores various means of promoting both student retention and completion of certificates and degrees. It focuses on subsets of students who have been less likely to attain higher levels of education and receive the benefits of that attainment. Among the findings of the new report: Utah’s population is changing. If the state’s post-secondary educational institutions do not respond to those changes, tens of thousands … Continued

El Estado de los Latinos en Utah: A Look at Utah’s Hispanic/Latino Population

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Researchers often examine populations by looking closely at certain demographic characteristics to help understand such groups, which can then inform policy decisions. In 2020, a group of Hispanic civic, business and elected leaders approached Utah Foundation asking us to provide key data related to Utah’s Hispanic/Latino population. In addition, this project received support from the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs. The metrics in El Estado de los Latinos en Utah: A Look at Utah’s Hispanic/Latino … Continued

Insights on Incentives: Optimizing Local Approaches to Tax Incentives in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation’s series on state and local incentives addresses the risks that can come with providing public financial benefits to select private parties. The series explores ways to minimize those risks. This third report of the series focuses on local incentives. This report relies on a survey that compares Utah’s cities and counties with their national counterparts. Utah Foundation supplemented the survey results with dozens of interviews with local governments. Cities and counties in Utah … Continued

Driving Toward a Cleaner Future: Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Driving Toward a Cleaner Future: Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Utah examines the incentives and disincentives around electric cars, as well as the policy decisions around preparation for a wide proliferation of electric vehicles in the future. It also examines the incentives and requirements around public and private heavy-duty fleet vehicles.   Key Findings of this Report Electric vehicles – or battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids – accounted for less than 2% of the nation’s new … Continued