Press Release by Office of Gov. Gary R. Herbert , Utah Senate and Utah House of Representatives
SALT LAKE CITY (Feb. 22, 2019) – The Governor’s Office, Senate and House of Representatives released updated revenue numbers today for state fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The new consensus estimates provide $570 million in new ongoing money and $529 million in one-time sources.
The revenue estimates, though still positive, are somewhat less ($117 million in one-time money and $105 million in ongoing funding) than originally projected in December. The revenue estimate adjustments are primarily driven by income taxes. Federal tax reform has influenced state revenues through both structural changes to the income tax system and through the timing of revenue collections.
When balancing Utah’s budget, the Legislature is committed to being fiscally responsible, basing decisions on the current consensus forecast and scrutinize current and proposed spending with a focus on long-term fiscal sustainability. With the less than anticipated revenues, the Legislature will need to determine how to best fund critical items including public education enrollment growth, increase in the weighted pupil unit, upgraded school facilities, transportation projects to accommodate a growing population and social service programs.
“Utah is the most fiscally stable state in the nation,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “Adapting wisely to revenue estimates is all part of the process, and I trust our legislators will continue to make prudent decisions when it comes to investing these funds on behalf of all Utahns.”
“Even though revenue numbers are less than expected, our economy is growing; it’s just by how much,” said Senate President Stuart Adams. “Utah’s economy is still vibrant – ranking the top in the nation for job creation, and our unemployment rate is low. As we finalize the budget, we will continue to judiciously manage revenues and expenditures to ensure we are fiscally responsible.”
“The most recent revenue numbers make it clear we still have a strong economy and bright future,” said Speaker Brad Wilson. “Volatility in these sources, however, underscore that we need to be cautious. Disparity in the growth of our education fund and the growth in the general fund show we have to fix our revenue problem or our ability to fund critical issues like social services, public safety, and infrastructure will be in jeopardy.”