While Utah spends a larger percentage of its budget for education than any of the Mountain West states, it spends less than the surrounding seven for highways.
The Utah Foundation reported Monday that approximately 25.2 percent of Utah's population was enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools in 1987 - a figure considerably higher than the Mountain States average of 19.2 percent and the 16.5 percent national average.Approximately 41.8 percent of the state and local budget goes for education. The Mountain States average is 37.2 percent, with a 34.7 percent average nationally.
Consequently, most taxes assessed in the Beehive State are substantially higher than elsewhere. Total state and local taxes in Utah were equal to $125 per $1,000 of personal income, compared with $116 per $1,000 in the Mountain West and $115 per $1,000 nationally.
Though Utah spends only 8.4 percent of its budget for highways - nearly 3 percent less than surrounding states - it spends more than the national average of 8 percent.
The report also shows that Utah uses the income tax and the sales tax more heavily than surrounding states, with property tax assessments ranked near the Mountain States average. Nevada and Wyoming have no individual income tax and Montana has no general sales tax.
Other figures reported:
-Utah's cigarette tax of 23 cents per pack is highest among the Mountain States, with an average of 16.9 cents. The national average is 19.4 cents.
-The state's gasoline tax of 19 cents per gallon is second highest in the region. Montana's is 20 cents.
-Utahns earn less per capita than any surrounding state, but analysts say the figure is skewed because of the large proportion of non-earning children. Still, the average personal income per household - $36,863 - is about 3 percent below the Mountain States average of $37,928 and 12 percent under the $41,854 U.S. average.