February 21, 2007 City Fiscal Conditions 2006
We know the State of Utah has a surplus of well over $1 billion, but what is the fiscal health of Utah’s cities and towns? Each city and town is unique, which makes is difficult to assess budget health in the aggregate the way we evaluate state revenue and expenditures. In an attempt to better understand the fiscal state of municipal goverment we (ULCT) recently conducted a survey of municipal budget officers across the state of Utah.
The survey instrument used is patterned after a survey administered by the National League of Cities and adapted to address Utah’s cities and towns. The survey asked respondents to assess if their city was better able or less able to address their budget needs this fiscal year versus the last. The survey also asked budget officers to measure the degree of impact a number of factors had on the budget process. Overall Utah’s cities and towns are experiencing fiscal stability, led by the strong state economy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t looming challenges (i.e. infrastructure needs and rising health care benefit costs). You can access the survey results here: ULCT Fiscal Conditions Survey
I appreciate the input from staff at the University of Utah CPPA and a small group of city budget officers regarding the design of this instrument. Also, thank you to the 82 cities who responded.