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. 2: State Taxes and Spending

Written by: Christopher Collard

State taxes and government spending has continuously been a top-10 issue for voters since Utah Foundation’s first Utah Priorities Project in 2004. The 2020 iteration of the project is no exception. While open-ended responses often indicate that people feel that taxes are too high, this brief highlights some additional survey questions that offer a more nuanced view. The priority may also get additional attention this year due to the coronavirus and the associated recession’s still … Continued

Now What? A Citizen’s Tax Reform Troubleshooting Guide

Written by: Peter Reichard

The monumental tax overhaul of 2019 saw a swift demise at the start of the 2020 legislative session, but the issues that motivated reform are left unresolved. To give Utahns a better idea of what that means, Utah Foundation today releases Now What? A Citizen’s Troubleshooting Guide to Tax Reform. The report addresses three basic issues at the center of reform efforts: the adequacy of general fund revenue; the competitiveness of income tax rates; and … 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

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

High and Dry: Water Supply, Management and Funding in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Among the most basic – and contentious – components of water management is how we pay for water, with property taxes versus user fees at the heart of the debate. Utah Foundation’s new Paying for Water Series will examine the key areas of concern related to this debate, including conservation, fairness and practical considerations. The series builds on Utah Foundation’s in-depth research into the many dozens of water providers serving residents of the state. The … Continued