Since 1991, Utah state government spending has generally grown slower than Utah’s economy, except for brief “bumps” during economic booms. Through most of this period, health spending and transportation capital spending grew faster than the economy, while all other categories, including public education (the largest state spending area) declined in terms of spending per $1,000 of personal income. The most recent two fiscal years, however, brought large increases in state spending, mostly focused in public education and transportation capital projects.
Utah’s preference for using budget surpluses to fund one-time capital investment projects reduces major volatility in state spending and helps the state enjoy stable public finances. This report also reviews Utah’s tax burdens and how they have changed over time.
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