The U.S. Census Bureau this week released the latest comprehensive figures on state and local tax burdens. These data are from the 2004-05 fiscal year and therefore do not account for recent tax law changes that may reduce Utah’s tax burden, especially for income taxes. Nevertheless, these figures are useful to understand recent tax trends and how Utah ranks against other states.
In September 2006, Utah Foundation analyzed alternative measures of tax burden and concluded that, although it is important to measure government fees as part of the tax burden, some fees are not mandatory impositions on taxpayers and should not be included in the overall tax burden. These optional fees include those for services a taxpayer can choose to purchase from the private sector, from government, or to not purchase at all. The largest of such fees is college tuition.