Going for the Green: How Utah Can Thrive in the New Climate Economy

Written by: Shawn Teigen

The “New Climate Economy” is an effort to tie economic strength to actions intended to reduce the impacts of climate change. Such efforts are taking place around the world. In the U.S., innovations and other measures from corporations, along with new policies and investments from the federal government, provide states with a range of opportunities to capitalize on the transition to an economy that prioritizes climate-focused strategies. This report, Going for the Green: How Utah … 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

Utah Priorities 2020 | Utah Priority No. 4: Jobs and the Economy

Written by: Christopher Collard

In March, Utah voters ranked jobs and the economy as the 12th most important of 15 competing priorities. However, by July the coronavirus pandemic reignited jobs and the economy as one of Utah voters’ top priorities. This mirrors Utah’s record-low unemployment rate in early 2020, which spiked to a record-high unemployment rate by April. While much of the economy is normalizing, the longterm economic strain of the pandemic remains unknown. By many broad metrics, the … Continued

EDTIF Elevated? Utah’s Evolving State Incentive Program

Written by: Peter Reichard

Just over five years since receiving strong criticism from the state auditor, Utah’s Economic Development Tax Increment Financing program (EDTIF) has undergone significant changes. However, a number of questions remain to verify that the program has been optimized. Today, Utah Foundation releases EDTIF Elevated? Utah’s Evolving State Incentive Program, which examines recent changes to EDTIF, sets out program results and explores ongoing areas of discussion. This is the second installment in Utah Foundation’s Economic Development … Continued

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

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

The Bedrock of Civilization: The Economic Impact of the Aggregates Industry in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

In 2018, Utah Foundation was commissioned by Clyde Companies, Kilgore Companies and Staker Parson Materials and Construction to analyze the impact of the aggregates industry in Utah. Aggregates generally consist of crushed stone, sand and gravel. Aggregates are essential in constructing stable subgrades for nearly every type of construction project and are constituents in asphalt and ready-mixed concrete. In 2017, the aggregates industry directly employed over 100,000 individuals nationally, supporting nearly 600,000 total jobs. The … Continued

Public Funds, Private Endeavors: A Primer on Local Economic Development Incentives in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

During the 2019 Utah legislative session, there are at least five bills that directly deal with how local governments award business incentives. Others may indirectly affect local governments’ ability to do so There are several ways to view local incentives. Critics might see them as public subsidies which distort economic growth. Others take a more neutral view, but focus on the funds that local governments forgo to incentivize economic development. Boosters view them as a … Continued