Tax and Spend Utah Celebrates COGD Four Days Late
Happy Cost of Government Day Utah! Today, along with Idaho and Delaware, Utah “celebrates” its Cost of Government Day. The Cost of Government Day is a measure that calculates the calendar date by which the average American has paid off the costs of total government spending and regulation.
This year, Utah residents must work 201 days to pay off the costs of government spending and regulatory burdens. After paying off these costs, citizens of the state have only 164 days to save for themselves.
Between 2003 and 2012 Utah taxpayers watched their taxes increase by a total of $891.6 million. Residents have been put through tax increases every year since 2003 and face a tax burden only slightly below the national average. In addition to working 201 days, 9.7 percent of the state’s taxpayers’ income is taxed.
In 2011, Utah ranked 30th among the states for the cheapest Cost of Government Day; unfortunately, the state dropped two places to 32nd this year. The FY2013 budget does not raise taxes and increases overall spending by roughly $440 million, or 3.67 percent. This overspending means each Utahan is saddled with roughly $1,200 in government debt.
Utah is a good illustration of what happens when legislators try to chase their tail on spending – the state continues to increase taxes to pay for higher spending, leading to outstanding debt. Until Utah learns it can’t tax its way out of a spending problem, Beehive State taxpayers will continue to labor later into the year to pay for government.