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

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

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

The Everyday Tax: Sales Taxation in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

The sales tax is paid almost every day by virtually every person who sets foot in Utah – residents and visitors alike. It is one of the legs of Utah’s “three-legged stool” of tax revenues, along with property and income taxes. The Everyday Tax examines Utah’s sales tax, comparing it to taxes in other states and looking at the factors affecting its growth. It also looks at exemptions and earmarks, as well as options for broadening the sales tax base. This is the … Continued

Utah 2018 State Income Tax Calculator

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah’s state income taxes will be impacted by the 2017 federal changes and 2018 state changes. Enter your information below to find out the impact of federal and state changes on your household in 2018.

The Education Tax: Income Taxation in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

The income tax is one of the legs of Utah’s “three-legged stool” of tax revenues, along with the property and sales taxes. It is the largest of the three in 2017, bringing in approximately $3.6 billion. While federal income taxes are often a target for jokes on complexity, Utah’s state income taxes are relatively straightforward. Income taxes are a frequent focus for those who want increases for education on the one hand and those who … Continued

Considering a Cut to Utah’s Income Tax

Written by: Christopher Collard

State lawmakers are currently considering a small personal and corporate income tax cut for Utahns that would reportedly reduce the state income tax from 5% to 4.95%. Lawmakers are considering these tax cuts in light of large revenue growth from the income tax on top of a one-time windfall as a result of the recent federal income tax overhaul. This brief addresses the impact of the personal income tax cut on households. Based on data … Continued

The Essential Tax: Property Taxation in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Property tax is one of the legs of Utah’s “three-legged stool” of tax revenues, along with the income and sales taxes. During the nineties and early aughts, the property tax was the smallest revenue generator of the three. However, with the 2008 income tax reform and the erosion of sales tax revenues, the three have been more equal, with the property tax bringing in approximately $3.3 billion in 2016, compared to $3.6 billion for income … Continued

Simple Arithmetic? K-12 Education Spending in Utah

Written by: Shawn Teigen

SOME CLAIM UTAH NEEDS MORE MONEY for K-12 public education. Others assert there is waste in the current K-12 public education budget. Simple Arithmetic? K-12 Education Spending in Utah can help readers answer for themselves questions about sufficiency and waste. It explains education finance and financial transparency. It explores revenues and spending in Utah and provides national comparisons. It also discusses data availability – and the next steps in education finance reporting. Download this report. … Continued

Getting By with Less: Two Decades of K-12 Education Revenue and Spending

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Over the past twenty years, Utah’s K-12 education funding effort – or the amount spent per $1,000 personal income – has decreased from 7th highest in the nation to 37th. The decline has resulted in a nearly 29% decrease in tax revenue, which equates to a $1.2 billion reduction of funds available annually for public K-12 education. This would equate to an increase in funding of nearly $2,000 per pupil, or an average of over … Continued