Enacted Budget – Fiscal Year 2023
Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox signed the state budget for fiscal 2023 providing $26.0 billion in appropriations from all funds, a 1.4 percent increase compared to the original fiscal 2022 budget but 6.1 percent below revised fiscal 2022 spending estimates. The decline from current spending levels can be attributed to a one-time federal funds increase, mostly from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and one-time state spending on transportation infrastructure and capital facilities in fiscal 2022. The enacted budget provides for combined General and Education Funds spending in fiscal 2023 of $11.6 billion, a 13.4 percent increase over revised fiscal 2022 levels. The budget is based on available ongoing General and Education Fund estimated revenue of $9.7 billion in fiscal 2023 after incorporating tax policy changes, a 4.1 percent decline from revised fiscal 2022 projections, along with one-time revenue surpluses from the prior year of $2.0 billion. Projected General and Education rainy day fund balances at the end of fiscal 2022 totaled $976 million, or 9.5 percent of combined General and Education Fund appropriations. Top priorities in the budget include state-funded investments in one-time transportation and infrastructure projects; a six percent increase in weighted per-pupil K-12 spending; performance funding for higher education; new arts, history and heritage competitive grant programs; state employee and contractor compensation increases; debt elimination and rainy day fund deposits. Tax policy changes adopted include an income tax rate reduction, expansion of the social security tax credit, and a new earned income tax credit, which together reduce ongoing revenue by an estimated $193 million, as well as other amendments to sales, income, business, and severance tax exemptions and credits, resulting in more modest revenue reductions. During the 2022 session, the legislature appropriated $844 million in ARPA funds as one-time adjustments for fiscal 2022, including $333 million for revenue replacement, as well as funds for water projects, affordable housing, technology infrastructure, workforce training, teacher bonuses, and other priorities.