Utah Receives High Marks for Financial Health | Utah

(The Center Square) – Utah received high marks for being among the top financially sound states in the nation, a new report shows.

Utah is ranked fourth in the nation for fiscal responsibility, according to tax analysts Truth in Accounting. However, they predict that the state’s position may become less certain in coming years due to changes in the stock market and federal assistance in the post-COVID economy.

The TIA’s annual report released Tuesday, which analyzes audit data from all 50 states for fiscal year 2021, says Utah was one of only 19 states with enough funds in its coffers to pay all of its bills. bills. This is the 13th consecutive year that Utah has been able to maintain a taxpayer surplus, according to the report.

For fiscal year 2021, Utah had $16.5 billion in funds available to pay its $7.7 billion in expenses, according to the report. The TIA has assigned the state a “B” rating.

“Utah’s taxpayers and residents benefit from some of the most responsible financial management practices in the nation,” the report said. “Utah has the best record among the 50 states for keeping spending below income. In fact, Utah has done so every year since 2005, even during the Great Recession and now after the onset of a global pandemic. At the end of its most recent fiscal year, Utah had an $8.8 billion surplus, which breaks down to $8,700 per state taxpayer.”

TIA analysts noted that Utah’s economic situation, like most states in the report, had improved “only on paper due to stock market increases in 2021″ and predicted that the situation The state’s economy could face some uncertainty with the slowdowns seen in the market.

“Previously recorded gains may not have been realized through the actual sale of market assets,” the report said. “As a result, the report should look different next year when market declines are reflected in Utah’s annual returns.”

Although Utah was able to maintain sound budgeting practices before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state received federal grants that provided flexible financial support during the pandemic. It has also contributed to the state’s financial health in 2021 and creates additional uncertainty, the report said.

“Uncertainty surrounding full economic recovery from Covid makes it impossible to determine how much will be needed to maintain government services and benefits in years to come,” the report said, referring to federal assistance Utah has received. . “However, Utah’s surplus and additional funds will help the state weather future public health or economic crises and market downturns.”

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