Salt Lake City, UT – One second into the new fiscal year, at 12:00:01 am on July 1, 2007, and the state of Utah will have already spent $350 of your tax money. By the end of the day it will have spent over $30 million in taxes. To put this spending in perspective for the average person, it would take only 45 days to buy every single resident of the state a new $600 Apple iPhone.
“The pressure to increase government spending is always compelling in times of plenty, as if to make up for lean years,” said Paul T. Mero, president of Sutherland Institute, “but prosperous times are the best times to make course corrections and to look for new ways to reduce government dependencies.” Mero added, “For instance, now would be a great time to begin to wean ourselves off of federal dollars and the disproportional mandates that accompany that money.”
The Utah State Spending Clock, which can be found on Sutherland Institute’s homepage,www.SutherlandInstitute.org, is now ticking at over $350 per second. This spending clock shows the amount of taxpayers’ money our Utah state government will spend through the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2008. According to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the state budget has increased to an estimated $11.056 billion, a jump of $1 billion over 2007 levels. This increase follows a $1.3 billion spending increase in 2007 over 2006 spending levels. In just two years, the state budget has increased by 24.3%.
“To put this historic increase into perspective,” said Derek Monson, Sutherland Policy Analyst, “consider that Utah’s population and inflation only grew at a combined six percent last year. When our government is growing twice as fast as our population it’s time for a robust public dialogue about our values, our priorities, and the proper role of government.”