Utah

Utah

Budget Cycle
Annual

Governor Submits Budget
December
Fiscal Year Begins
July 1

Governor Signs Budget 
March/April
(20 days after session)


Budget Links

FY2023 (enacted)
FY2023 (proposed)
FY2022 (enacted)
FY2021 (enacted)
FY2020 (enacted)
FY2019 (enacted)
FY2018 (enacted)

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.

Proposed Budget - Fiscal Year 2023

On December 7, Utah Governor Spencer Cox submitted a budget proposal for fiscal 2023. The total operating and capital budget calls for $25.0 billion in spending from all funds, which represents a 2.9 percent decrease compared to authorized fiscal 2022 levels. The primary reason for the decrease is significant levels of one-time state and federal funds available in fiscal 2022. Governor Cox recommended $10.5 billion in general fund, education fund and uniform school fund (GF/EF/USF) spending in fiscal 2023, including $9.2 billion of ongoing funding, an 11.4 percent increase over GF/EF/USF ongoing spending authorized for fiscal 2022. The governor also recommends $555 million in additional one-time GF/EF/USF spending for fiscal 2022. The budget is based on a consensus GF/EF revenue forecast of $9.6 billion, excluding sales and use taxes earmarked for transportation, water and other non-general fund uses; this represents a 10.7 percent increase over the fiscal 2022 enacted revenue forecast and a 0.7 percent decline compared to the revised consensus estimate for fiscal 2022. Factoring in prior-year surplus funds and other sources, the consensus estimate yields $1.16 billion in additional available ongoing GF/EF revenue and $1.82 billion in one-time GF/EF revenue. The state’s fiscal 2022 rainy day fund balances total $1.15 billion, 11.8 percent as a share of authorized GF/EF/USF spending that year. The budget also recommends $844 million in one-time spending adjustments for fiscal 2022 using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds – including $707 million in State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) and $138 million in Capital Projects Funds. These new allocations, along with $571 million of SFRF appropriated in a May 2021 special session, would leave $100 million SFRF funds unappropriated to respond to unanticipated pandemic-related costs. 


Proposed Budget Highlights 

The governor’s One Utah budget recommendations call for generational investments in water projects, targeted investments in people, proactive investments in infrastructure, and transformational investments in how state employees work. These investments prioritize economic advancement, education innovation, rural matters, health security, equality and opportunity, and streamlining and modernizing state government. The governor also recommends $160 million in tax relief as a refundable grocery tax credit.

K-12 Education

  • $184 million for 5 percent increase in weighted pupil unit (WPU) spending (2.6 percent inflationary and 2.4 percent discretionary)
  • $55 million to eliminate school fees for families
  • $57 million towards fully funding the at-risk WPU program over the next 5 years
  • $23 million per year for the next three years to increase access to full-day kindergarten
  • $254 million to provide schools with funds for one-time needs
  • $25 million for Teacher and Student Success Program

Higher Education & Workforce Development

  • $120 million for higher education and technical college capital projects
  • $3 million for a student mental health funding
  • $1 million in ongoing funding for public higher education online programs
  • $115 million to expand capacity and program offerings at state technical colleges
  • $2 million in ongoing funding for the state’s apprenticeship program
  • $1 million for a data-driven statewide conversation about population growth

Transportation

  • $46 million to finish regionally significant transportation projects
  • $141 million one-time investment in “The Point”, state-owned land to be built into Utah’s Innovation Community
  • $294 million in general funds to replace unissued transportation bonds

Streamlining and Modernizing Government

  • $105 million to increase state employee compensation and benefits
  • $65 million initial investment in Renovation and Consolidation Fund to implement statewide Space Master Plan as part of statewide remote work program, expected to save $569 million in operational costs over 50 years with potential avoidance of $429 million in new construction costs
  • $29 million to create a new OneUtah.gov portal

Other State Fund Adjustments, including:

  • Water & Air Quality: $5 million to expand the state’s air quality monitoring network and $3 million to help expand electric vehicle infrastructure to rural areas
  • Housing: $50 million to foster affordable housing development through private activity bonds and $50 million for new construction or rehabilitation of rural workforce housing
  • Equality and Opportunity: $10 million for infrastructure to support children’s mental health, $5 million for university facilities to better serve Navajo nation students, and $1 million for expanded parental leave for state employees
  • Health Care: $1 million for ensuring continuous Medicaid eligibility for children and $3.2 million to create the Utah Sustainable Health Collaborative to transform the healthcare system through value-based care

Recommendations for ARPA Funds (Fiscal 2022 One-Time Adjustments)

  • $707 million in State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF), including:
    • Water and Air Quality: $400 million (in addition to $100 million previously appropriated) for water conservation, restoration, preservation and infrastructure, including $200 million to accelerate installation of secondary meters
    • Public Health: $10 million for current public health response efforts and $41 million for public health technology modernization
    • Housing: $128 million for projects that will serve low-income individuals
  • $138 million in Capital Projects Funds, including:
    • $115 million for UDOT rural broadband projects
    • $20 million for telehealth and education network infrastructure
    • $3 million for broadband deployment efforts statewide