The Utah State Tax Commission succeeded in raising nearly $ 14 billion in state and local revenue for fiscal 2021, even as the economic fallout from the pandemic continued to be felt throughout the world. country.
In total, the commission raised $ 13.97 billion in fiscal year 2021, which began in July 2020 and ended last June, according to the tax commission’s annual report released on Wednesday.
This is a $ 3.26 billion increase in revenue – or 30.5% – from what the state collected in fiscal 2020, the commission found. The State Uniform Education / School Fund and General Fund also increased by 57.2% and 13.5%, respectively.
As the Utahns braced for the onset of the COVID-19 health crisis in 2020, tax revenues were down, the commission reported, by $ 18.54 million, or 0.2%, over the course of the year. Previous exercice.
Commissioners attributed the new income to the pandemic-induced IRS tax filing extensions that occurred in 2020 and 2021. According to the report, the extension of the April 15 to May 17 tax filing deadline “Resulted in revenue that would generally have occurred in fiscal year 2020 through fiscal year 2021.”
A longer-term explanation for the increase in income, according to Commissioner John L. Valentine, is that Utah’s economy continues to perform well despite the pandemic.
“Utah’s economy is doing very well,” Valentine said. “Our unemployment rate is still low and we have been surprisingly resilient throughout the pandemic and the economic upheavals it has caused.”
About $ 6.11 billion in revenue came from personal income tax, followed by $ 2.62 billion in state sales and use taxes, more than $ 794 million in taxes local sales and use, $ 742 million in corporate franchise taxes and $ 379.5 million in fuel taxes. He also collected about $ 720 million in overdue taxes.
Valentine said federal stimulus payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act have helped boost state tax revenues.
“The (stimulus payments) had an effect because they gave money (to people) and then people bought goods and services,” he explained.
Of all the revenue collected, about half was deposited into the State Education Fund, 21.2% went to the General Fund and 10.9% to the Transport Fund, 16% to the Trust Fund and 2, 6% to “other” funds.
“Fiscal year 2021 was another unusual year as the state continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses including restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, golf courses and other non-essential businesses have started to reopen; meanwhile, thousands of employees have been left out of work, ”according to the report. Still, “Utah’s overall economy has performed exceptionally well in fiscal 2021.”
In addition, the committee in its report said it responded to 540 bills during the 2021 general session of the Legislative Assembly. The committee added that around 53% of its more than 700 employees are currently working remotely since. their home.
Ministry of Motor Vehicles waiting time
The Utah Department of Motor Vehicles, which is managed by the tax commission, has also reduced wait times for its services, the commissioners reported.
Valentine said some Utahns used to wait up to two hours when registering their cars or changing car titles.
“In 2020, we had huge queues,” he explained. “We really heard the issues that were assigned to us so we took some big action. “
After implementing more ways for the Utahns to supplement online DMV services, wait times for the department are now less than 20 minutes on average, Valentine noted.