Balancing the Budget

The Utah 2019 State Budget

After all is said and done, the legislature passed a balanced state budget.  Several tools will be helpful in understanding, in both quick and detailed ways, the budget.

 Budget Quick Facts   A quick look at our budget.

Interactive Data Viz This lets you drill-down on subcommittees, agencies, funds, programs, and even individual requests.  You can see the budget by source, use, and “new money”.  New this year, hover over a bubble to see a three-year history for that item, click the bubble for appropriations detail like bill number and item number.

Overview of where we budgeted $17 billion to create Utah’s 2019 budget.

  • Utah’s FY 2019 budget from all sources is nearly $17 billion – a 4.8% increase over last year’s budget of $16.2 billion.
  • Of that total, $7.3 billion comes from the discretionary General and Education funds (sales taxes and income taxes).  That’s up by about 9.7% from last year’s $6.7 billion.
  • $95 million of the GF/EF growth (1.4% of the base) we deposited into reserves.
  • We started this year’s budget process with $382 million in ongoing new General and Education Fund revenue and $101 million in new one-time resources.
  • The first thing we did was use that money to pay back $85 million in FY 2010 loans from our rainy-day funds.  That $85 million was on-top of $34 million that went into reserves via statutory formula last summer.
  • We also bolstered our “working rainy day fund” by appropriating $67 million in above-trend ongoing revenue to pay for buildings.  Doing so fulfilled our commitments from the 2017 general session and put in place a mechanism for future capital investment.
  • Even with as much new money as we had, we spent the first two weeks of General Session scrubbing budgets – as we usually do.  We identified $69 million worth of reductions and reallocations – about 1% of our General and Education Fund budget.
  • In February we learned that we would have an additional $126 million ongoing and $83 million one-time new General and Education Fund revenue.
  • That was in addition to about $80 million in new state revenue resulting from tax reform on the federal level.
  • We used that revenue growth to re-balance taxes and invest in education and infrastructure.
  • Senate Bill 293 from the 2018 General Session reduces the individual and corporate income tax rates from 5% to 4.95% and changes how corporations apportion their income to Utah, impacting revenue by a combined $53 million this year and $100 million five years from now.
  • That bill also changes education related property taxes, raising $55 million this year and around $225 million by year 5.
  • Senate Bill 293 – and an expanding economy – allowed Legislators to pump nearly $280 million of new money into public education – that’s an 8% increase compared to the base budget.
  • We further invested nearly $40 million in higher education operations and $90 million into higher ed buildings.  That’s in addition to the $78 million in additional funding this year for higher ed buildings approved last year.
  • This year, we paid cash up-front for all of these higher education buildings.
  • Of the more than $800 million in new revenue we had this year, $459 million, or 57%, went to public and higher education.
  • We gave state and higher education employees a 2.5% raise and funded a 4.1% increase in the cost of health insurance.
  • We funded Medicaid enrollment growth and inflation to the tune of $22 million.
  • We provided more than $10.5 million to address our most vulnerable populations through Operation Rio Grande.
  • We paid $20 million for the cost of suppressing last year’s wild land fires.
  • We reallocated $46 million in debt service savings to pay cash for the prison in hopes that we can avoid future bonding.
  • In the end, we socked-away another $10 million in informal reserves – this time for public education growth and school building security.
  • We did what we do every year.  We balanced our budget.

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