Redistributing Utah’s Tax Resources: Burdens and Benefits Around the State


It is the nature of a federal system of governments that a higher level of government with the power to tax has the power to redistribute that tax revenue. This is a prominent feature of our national governmental structure; the federal government collects income taxes and other revenues and spends those revenues on programs and projects that affect states to varying degrees. Some states benefit from a greater level of federal spending than their federal tax burden. Others are net donors, receiving less in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes. These differences in tax burdens and spending benefits have been chronicled by national groups, including the Tax Foundation, which publishes an annual report on the subject.1 According to the Tax Foundation’s latest report, Utah is a net beneficiary of the federal system, receiving $1.11 in federal expenditures for every dollar paid in federal taxes.

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