The Real Return to Normal: FY 2023 Financial Highlights and Latest Revenue Reports

On Friday, November 17th, 2023, the Tax Commission released their Revenue Summary report, detailing collections through four months of the fiscal year. Concurrently, the Legislative Fiscal Analyst and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget jointly published their Revenue Snapshot for November, which compares updated revenue figures to consensus revenue estimates from February of this […]

November 17, 2023

Interim Recap: Outcomes of the 2023 Accountable Budget Process

During the 2019 General Session, the Legislature passed H.J.R. 18, which amended Joint Rule 3-2-501. The bill requires each of the seven topical appropriations subcommittees to scrutinize twenty percent of their assigned budgets in a practice called the Accountable Budget Process (ABP). The goal of this interim review is to come away with an Accountable […]

November 10, 2023

Initial Revenue Reports Less Spooky than Expected

On Tuesday, October 24th, the Tax Commission released the first revenue summary report for FY 2024, which details collections for the first quarter of the fiscal year. Along with that summary, the Legislative Fiscal Analyst and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget published the October Revenue Snapshot, comparing revenues to the consensus forecast. Through […]

October 27, 2023

2023 Update on ARPA

Starting in spring of 2020, the Federal government provided a series of stimulus packages aimed at mitigating impacts associated with the pandemic, injecting over $31 billion into the state of Utah for various purposes. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) carried the largest portion of discretionary funding under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund […]

October 20, 2023

Bend.. and SNAP! How Medicaid & SNAP Funding Have Changed Post-Pandemic

On March 1, 2023, the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) began reviewing all Medicaid cases for eligibility. Prior to this the federal government would not allow any State to disenroll Medicaid clients regardless of eligibility changes as part of its response to the public health emergency. From March until August, the department has reviewed 121,025 […]

September 29, 2023

It’s Kind of a Money Story.. How the New Funding Follow-up Report for 2023 Answers All Your Questions 

During the Legislature’s previous three general sessions, $2 to $3 billion in new funding has been appropriated each year for two to four hundred projects. In many instances, agencies spend the full appropriation, projects are fully implemented, and taxpayers are better served. However, this isn’t always the case, which begs the question: how can we […]

September 22, 2023

In Stock Now: Efficiency Evaluations Identify Opportunities to Improve DABS Inventory Management

Efficiency evaluations are a collaborative process between the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst (LFA) and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (GOPB). The July 2023 efficiency evaluation of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services (DABS) identified opportunities to improve revenues by preventing empty shelves for top-selling products (a.k.a stockout) and avoiding losses from […]

September 1, 2023

It’s Electric! Legislative Actions on EV Charging Infrastructure

As the transportation system becomes increasingly electric, the State of Utah has taken several preparatory actions including funding planning efforts and installation projects for electric vehicle charging stations. Multiple factors are driving this transition to “electric avenue” including Federal actions, market demand, and air quality on the Wasatch Front. Frequently cited as a barrier to […]

August 25, 2023

The Cost of Counsel: A Look at the Attorney General’s Internal Service Fund

Background In response to a legislative audit during the 2016 General Session, the Legislature passed H.B. 351, “Attorney General Fiscal Amendments.” This legislation provided the Office of the Attorney General (AG) the option to function as an Internal Service Fund, or “ISF.” The AG began implementing its ISF during the 2018 General Session, concluding in […]

August 11, 2023

The Carrot, Not the Stick: Performance Based Funding for the Utah System of Higher Education

In addition to their base budget, Utah’s sixteen higher education institutions have the potential to increase annual funding in aggregate by $35 million beginning in FY 2025 if they meet certain performance goals set by the Board of Higher Education (board). The amount of performance funding is variable from year-to-year, and is defined in statute […]

July 28, 2023

Right on Schedule: Yearend Revenues align within Consensus Forecast

On Thursday, July 13, the Tax Commission released its preliminary year-end Revenue Summary report detailing collections through 12 months of the fiscal year. Simultaneously, the Legislative Fiscal Analyst and Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget produced their monthly Revenue Snapshot which compares collected revenue to the consensus forecast. As of July 10th, revenue to all […]

July 14, 2023

What in the TANF? Eligible Uses of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Funding

In 1996, Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program through the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). TANF replaced three separate preexisting programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills training, and the Emergency Assistance program. Under TANF, the federal government provides a fixed block-grant […]

June 30, 2023

Driving a Culture Shift: Creating Performance Measures to Enhance Public Service Value 

In today’s rapidly evolving world, government agencies face the crucial task of continuously improving their services to better serve the public. The paradigm has shifted from mere service delivery to emphasizing value creation for citizens. Utah has been actively working to measure government performance for over a decade now through various initiatives. In 2021, the […]

June 23, 2023

Revenues through June Nearly Identical to FY 2022

On Thursday, June 15th, the Tax Commission released their Revenue Summary report, detailing collections through 11 months of FY 2023. Through June 7th, Sales and Use Tax in total is up 6.7% year-over-year (YoY) and up 5.5% YoY excluding Sales and Use Tax Set-Asides. Individual Income Tax is down, (5.6%) when compared to the same […]

June 16, 2023

How Will the Fiscal Responsibility Act Impact Utah?

At a glance, the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023: With the all-important “X-date” nearly upon us (the projected day when the federal government would no longer be able pay its bills), a default-avoiding deal to suspend the federal debt ceiling has been reached. Over the last week, negotiations were drafted into a bill which passed […]

June 2, 2023

BOTSU: Simply the Best

The Budget of the State of Utah (BOTSU) is an annual report detailing budget actions taken during legislative sessions, providing the historical record for state appropriations made during each meeting of the legislature. BOTSU is an office-wide publication of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst (LFA), all subcommittee staff participate in writing the chapters for their respective […]

May 26, 2023

Income Tax Collections Down Slightly, As Expected

On Tuesday, May 16th, the Tax Commission released their Revenue Summary Report detailing collections through 10 months of the fiscal year, in conjunction with the May Revenue Snapshot produced by the Legislative Fiscal Analyst and Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget which compares collections to consensus revenue estimates. Total collections to all sources were down […]

May 19, 2023

Introducing the Reimagined

During the Executive Appropriations Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 16th, the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst unveiled the newly designed budget website for the state of Utah. The site (affectionately referred to by LFA as the acronym ‘B.U.G.’) aims to make it easy for legislators and the public to find products while also understanding […]

May 17, 2023

H-2-Whoa: 2023 General Session Investments in Water Management

Whether addressing the issue of having too much or too little water, recent hydrologic conditions of the state have kept law makers on their toes. Last year, the state made several large investments focused on mitigating drought conditions and increasing conservation, of which $450 million was funded by the American Rescue Plant Act (ARPA) and […]

May 5, 2023

Financing NOAA’s Arc

You don’t need the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to tell you that Utah’s winter packed a wallop. No matter how you measure it – 750 inches of snowfall or 30 inches of snow water equivalent in Utah’s mountains – all that water has to go somewhere, and it’s all downhill from there. NOAA’s […]

April 21, 2023

A Look at Recent Events in Tax Collection History

This month’s Revenue Summary Report from the Utah State Tax Commission (TC-23) and April Revenue Snapshot produced by the Legislative Fiscal Analyst and Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget show General and Income Tax Fund collections through April 7th up 12.2% over the same collection period in FY 2022. While Legislative Fiscal Analysts don’t enjoy […]

April 14, 2023

Too Blessed to be Stressed, Pt. 2: 2023 Updates to Budget Contingencies

Last December, Legislative economists presented their findings from the 2022 Budget Stress Testing exercise to the Executive Appropriations Committee in a report jointly prepared with the Governor’s Office. Stress testing is one part of the long-term fiscal sustainability analysis required under UAC 36-12-13. In a three-year cycle, the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst is […]

March 31, 2023

Luck Remains as Revenue Collections Stay Golden

Earlier this week, the Tax Commission released their Revenue Summary (TC-23) for March, detailing collections through March 7th, 2023. The Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst and Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget jointly released their revenue snapshot, summarizing monthly revenue in contrast to yearly forecasts. Through the first eight months of the fiscal year, […]

March 17, 2023

Sine Die and to all a Goodnight: A Budget Summary of the 2023 Legislature

The Utah Legislature concluded its 2023 General Session with a budget of $29.4 billion for fiscal year 2024. The budget includes $14.6 billion from state funds (General Fund, Income Tax Fund, Uniform School Fund) and $170 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Top legislative budget priorities included state fund investments in:                                 As […]

March 3, 2023

Spotlight on Infrastructure: Recent Large Investments in Water, Roads, and More

Over the last two General Sessions, the Legislature has made significant investments in Utah’s transportation, water, recreation, and other categories of infrastructure, financed by extraordinary General Fund surpluses and federal stimulus (primarily the American Rescue Plan Act). In the table below, you will see summarized amounts according to area of infrastructure, along with a link […]

February 25, 2023

Nothing is Certain in Life, Except Death and the Volatility of Income Taxes

Individual income tax is one of the most discussed and examined sources of revenue in Utah, and for good reason — most of us pay individual income tax, and it is also the largest single source of revenue to the state. While it may seem a familiar topic, there are many nuances that contribute to […]

February 17, 2023

Passing the Baton: Subcommittees Present Priorities to Executive Appropriations Committee

We’ve crossed the halfway point of the 45-day General Session, meaning that appropriations subcommittees have officially concluded their work to review agency budgets, make necessary approvals, and prioritize wish lists for new funding. The process of prioritizing new funding requests is laid out in the Joint Rule 3-2-402. Requests for new funding come from agencies […]

February 9, 2023

Hidden in Plain (Web)sites

Each year, appropriators spend most of the Legislative General Session jockeying for available General and Income Tax Fund revenue. That’s understandable, given that the General and Income Tax Funds are the most versatile funds that can be appropriated. These funds are based on broad taxes and spending from them is, for the most part, discretionary. […]

February 3, 2023

Walking the Line: What Value is the State Getting for its Investments?

It’s budget season.  Each year during the General Session, the Legislature appropriates the state budget – but the budget isn’t just money to be spent.  The budget is policymakers’ investment in services and other priorities of the state, on behalf of the taxpayers.    What value is the state getting for its investments?  The Legislature changed […]

January 27, 2023

The ABCs of RFAs

Requests for Appropriation – commonly referred to as RFAs – are a method for legislators to obtain funding for a public project, or to expand an existing program within state government. This method of funding is not to be confused with the funding associated with passed bills, as RFAs are not designed to support the […]

January 20, 2023

Revenues Get a Jump on General Session

The Utah State Tax Commission published its revenue summary for the first half of FY 2023 on the first day of Legislative General Session. As shown in the accompanying Revenue Snapshot from the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst (LFA) and Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (GOPB), General and Income Tax Fund collections remain […]

January 17, 2023

Getting Schooled Pt. 2: the Minimum School Program and Property Taxes

Multiple factors contribute to the amount of property tax a homeowner pays, including the Minimum Basic Tax Rate. The Minimum Basic Tax Rate is the amount of property tax charged statewide to pay for the Minimum School Program (refresh your public education budget knowledge here). While the Basic Rate (and recent increases) factors into property […]

January 6, 2023