Balancing the Burden: Utahns’ Tax Burden is Up from Historical Low

Written by: Christopher Collard

Taxes are everywhere. The small amount added to each purchase. The difference between your promised salary and what shows up in your bank account. The pennies added to each gallon of gas. The additional fee added to a water bill to cover sewerage services. So much of the public policy debate is focused on how to collect taxes, and what services they fund. This report, however, merely examines the aggregate burden of state and local … Continued

To Protect and Serve: Meeting Law Enforcement Recruiting and Retention Challenges in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Businesses in Utah have for years reported that they have difficulty finding enough skilled employees to meet their needs. In a 2018 survey, the Utah Foundation found that this difficulty was the top issue “holding businesses back.” But this problem is not unique to the private sector. Local and state governments face a similar challenge, particularly in filling law enforcement positions. It seems to have become even more acute in recent years. This report highlights … Continued

Plugging Into the Future of Electricity: The Economic Impacts of the IPP Renewed Project

Written by: Christopher Collard

Having provided coal-generated electricity since the mid-1980s, the Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) has decided to build a combined-cycle gas power plant by 2025 to replace the coal-fueled generators. The plan, known as IPP Renewed, will include a turbine that runs on a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen, with 30% hydrogen at start-up, transitioning to 100% hydrogen by 2045. Plugging into the Future of Electricity explores the IPP Renewed endeavor and its economic impact to … 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. 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

Utah Rising – Initiatives for a Broad & Rapid Economic Revival

Written by: Staff

At the onset of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic downturn, the Utah Foundation worked with the Finance Committee of the Utah Economic Response Task Force to brainstorm and develop ideas with the potential to aid the economic rebound of the state. This menu of ideas includes some ideas that are well-developed and others in preliminary stages. Some are short-term approaches while others look further onto the horizon. While many of the ideas require … 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