All states rely on federal aid to fund everything from social services to education.
According to a new study from the Washington, D.C. based Tax Foundation, in fiscal year (FY) 2017 the states for which federal aid made up the smallest share of state general revenue were Hawaii (20.7 percent), Virginia (21.1%), Kansas (23.3%), Utah (24.2%), and Minnesota (26%). The states where federal aid made up the largest share of general revenue were Montana (46.1%), Wyoming (44.5%), Louisiana (43.7%), Mississippi (43.3%), and Arizona (43.1%). The Tax Foundation notes that states that rely heavily on federal grants-in-aid tend to have sizable low-income populations and relatively lower tax revenues.
Utah, ranks #47 on the list with only 24.2% of its total budget coming from federal funds. Utah and many other western states, not only receive federal funds, but are unique in that huge areas of land are owned by the federal government. These states impose a payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) in order to fund state and local governments.
In FY 2019, Utah received $4,385,430,500 in federal funds out of a total state $16.7 billion budget. That’s roughly 26.2% of Utah’s total budget coming from federal funds.
Much of that federal revenue is being spent in Utah’s social services budget. $3,583,930,200 comes into the social services budget,which includes federally-mandated and statewide expansion of Medicaid. The social services total budget is $5.3 billion.
Public education also receives a large chunk of federal funding. The public education budget, in FY 2019, received $520,495,100 from federal funding.
While the state receives federal funding for education, local districts also receive a portion of federal funding. Utah’s 41 school districts average about 7% of their funding from the federal government, with a majority of that going to nutritional programs. San Juan District is far above that average, receiving 31% of their total budget from the federal government. Park City, on the other hand, only receives 2%.
To read the full Tax Foundation report, click here.