In Utah, we have recently found ourselves in the enviable position of unusually high growth during a recovery that for many states has looked like a continuation of the recession. Over the past seven years, our economy has expanded at an annual rate of 2%. I believe that our decision to leave more money in the hands of our citizens has allowed them to expand their businesses and invest in our economy in a way that has facilitated more rapid growth than most states have seen during this time period.
Utah has done a number of things that have enabled us to grow through the recession the way that we have:
  • The Utah State income tax rate was flattened a number of years ago, currently standing at 5%. I supported this revamping of the tax code that has encouraged greater growth and investment in the state of Utah, in addition to simply allowing our citizens to keep more of their own money.
  • In 2004, I was the House sponsor of a spending limitations bill which had a significant impact on controlling state spending increases during times of surplus. This helped to keep spending in check, and allowed our state to continue functioning well during the recession without needing to raise additional tax revenue from its citizens.
  • Any “ballot proposition for bond elections [must] include information about property tax increases required to service” those bonds as a result of the Truth in Bonding legislation that I sponsored.
  • When issues are submitted to voters, as a result oflegislation Isponsored, those initiatives are required to undergo a fiscal impact review and disclose the results of that review. My bill also allows for repeal or amendment if the actual costs exceed the estimated by more than 15%.
  • When businesses are impacted by such things as road construction and natural disasters, their income usually goes down while their property tax remains the same, even if the impacts are a result of governmental activity. I sponsored legislation that was successful in requiring a county assessor to take those business disruptions into account when determining the fair market value of a property.