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The City Café

For those interested in sharing ideas and perspectives regarding local government.

California’s astonishing $21 billion deficit is generating a lot of national news. Especially this morning after California voters rejected a variety of measures aimed to help fix this budget deficit. You can read the Wall Street Journal article here: California Voters Reject Budget Measures

However, California certainly isn’t the only state that is struggling to balance their budget during this national recession. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 16 states have now enacted tax increases and 17 states currently have proposed tax increases to help balance the budget. These taxes range from cigarette tax (Rhode Island residents are paying $3.46 in state taxes per pack), sales tax (California’s 1% increase), and personal and corporate income tax.

In comparison to neighboring states Utah’s economy is slightly better — but clearly also feeling the pain of the recession. Here is a quick review of how Utah’s unemployment, foreclosures, and budget deficit compares to our neighboring states:

Budget Deficit:

  • Utah — $720 million
  • Idaho — $411 million
  • Colorado — $1 billion
  • Nevada — $1.2 billion
  • Arizona — $3 billion
  • Wyoming — none

Foreclosures (4th quarter):

  • Utah — 1.79%
  • Idaho — 2.06%
  • Colorado — 2.16%
  • Nevada — 6.58%
  • Arizona — 4.64%
  • Wyoming — 0.72%

Unemployment rates (March 2009):

  • Utah — 5.2%
  • Idaho — 7.0%
  • Colorado — 7.5%
  • Nevada — 10.4%
  • Arizona — 7.4%
  • Wyoming — 4.5%

Check here for a map of this data for the entire nation: Where Does Your State Rank (CNNMoney)

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