A Lighter Load: Utah’s Changing Tax Burden

Written by: Christopher Collard

Taxes and government spending are a top issue for Utah voters. Tax reform is a top priority for the Utah Legislature and administration. In early 2019, legislators attempted a sweeping tax reform, and have continued to discuss options throughout the year. Utah’s tax burden has steadily decreased from 2007 to 2016. The corresponding decrease in state ranking signifies that this is not just part of a national trend. Among all states, Utah’s tax burden saw … Continued

Paying for Water: A Summary of the Series

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah ranks as one of the nation’s driest states — and one of the fastest-growing. It is therefore essential that Utah’s water is well managed to ensure the sufficiency of affordable, quality water into the future. Utah Foundation’s series of water reports discusses Utah’s reliance on both water rates and property taxes to fund water infrastructure, operations and maintenance. Paying For Water Series This series contains four parts as outlined below. • Entire Report: Paying … Continued

Getting Clear on Water: Practical Considerations in the Tax Versus Fee Debate

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah ranks among both the nation’s driest and fastest growing states. Water governance approaches that ensure sufficiency of affordable, quality water into the future is a major concern. Utah Foundation’s series of water reports seeks to fully explore the issue of how we pay for that water. Water finance impacts fiscal stability, cost, transparency, and accountability in different ways. As policymakers plan Utah’s future, they must be cognizant of how today’s choices on water finance can impact … Continued

Who Gets the Bill? Water Finance and Fairness in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah ranks among both the nation’s driest and fastest growing states. Water governance approaches that ensure sufficiency of affordable, quality water into the future is a major concern. Utah Foundation’s series of water reports seeks to fully explore the issue of how we pay for that water. Issues of water fairness primarily revolve around the fact that revenues generated from property taxes and revenues generated from water rates rely on two different groups. One group includes all … Continued

Drop by Drop: Water Costs and Conservation in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation’s series of water reports explores Utah’s water financing and its current and future impacts. This report examines the differing viewpoints in the context of conservation. It first outlines how water pricing can encourage conservation. It details the current effects of rates on water use. It then explores conservation in terms of fixed fees and variable rates. Lastly, the report examines incentives for water providers to encourage conservation. Most water providers embrace the value … Continued

Making the Grade? K-12 Outcomes and Spending in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

K-12 educational success is important to students and their families, but success is also important to the states and local taxpayers who fund education systems. Their investment is expected to pay dividends in producing an educated citizenry and a potent workforce. Making the Grade? K-12 Outcomes and Spending in Utah uses Utah’s computer-adaptive assessment results to measure success, and then reaches beyond the state’s borders using national measures. Some assessments show that Utah compares well … Continued

Building a Better Beehive: Land Use Decision Making, Fiscal Sustainability and Quality of Life in Utah

Written by: Sam Brucker

Building a Better Beehive: Land Use Decision Making, Fiscal Sustainability and Quality of Life in Utah explores the fiscal challenges that accompany growth, both in the short-term and in the long-term. The report also draws from Utah Foundation’s 2018 Quality of Life survey to demonstrate what Utahns value most in their communities, and which issues concern them most. Building from the fiscal challenges and quality of life concerns, the report identifies five strategic categories to … Continued

What’s the View from Your House? Housing Affordability Concerns in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Housing affordability is an issue of increasing concern to Utahns. For the first time since Utah Foundation initiated its Community Quality of Life Index survey in 2011, the availability of quality affordable housing was the worst-performing factor on the index. In addition, when asked what could most improve respondents’ communities as a place to live, 13% mentioned improving housing affordability, second only to traffic conditions. Interestingly, however, when asked whether their own housing was affordable, … Continued

Utah Foundation Quality of Life Survey: Measuring Utahns’ Perceptions of their Communities, Personal Lives

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Foundation occasionally surveys Utahns in an effort to understand how they feel about both their community and their personal quality of life. KEY FINDINGS OF THIS REPORT Despite improvements in the economy, Utahns’ perceptions of their community quality of life has declined since 2013 from a score of 73 to 70. The availability of good jobs is the only aspect on Utah Foundation’s Community Quality of Life Index that … Continued

United Way of Treasure Valley 2017 Community Assessment

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In 2016, the United Way of Treasure Valley retained Utah Foundation to perform a Community Assessment of the United Way’s three-county service area. Work was completed in 2017. The Community Assessment is seen as a foundation to achieve community goals. For the assessment, Utah Foundation analyzed community data as indicators of community success, barriers to reveal hindrances to community success, and opportunities as potential solutions to barriers. To inform the assessment, Utah Foundation held focus groups … Continued