Fellow | Assistant Professor
The purpose of this report is to develop a metric for comparing costs across land administration entities with land management responsibilities within the State of Utah. For lands to be transferred to the State under the Transfer of Public Lands Act, we estimate the total per annum cost to the State of Utah. Using the US GAO’s 1997 report Land Ownership: Similarities and Differences in the Management of Selected State and Federal Land Units (GAO/RCED-97-158) as a template for our metrics, we have gathered data from the major land administrating entities in the State of Utah to determine cost per acre and, where applicable, cost per visitor. All entities except the Bureau of Land Management have delivered data, and upon receipt of data from the Bureau of Land Management cost estimations will be forwarded as an amendment to this study.
Date Published: 2/6/2013
Most economists prefer a tax to regulation, and for those seeking to decarbonize the US economy a Pigouvian carbon tax is an attractive policy prescription. A non-romantic view of a carbon tax is consistent with Pigou’s largely forgotten warning that such a tax is “a potential opportunity” for self interest to trump the general interest. Congress may pass a carbon tax but it will have less to do with carbon reduction and more to do with redistributing income, exempting favorite companies, and making promises that future congresses will not keep.
Date Published: 1/16/2013
Competing claims about the economic value of public lands to local communities abound. Officials from the outdoor recreation industry, for example, claim that protecting lands from multiple uses such as motorized and even pedal-powered recreation and oil, gas, and mineral extraction is "really truly about jobs"(Prettyman 2012). A hunting and fishing group, Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development, commissioned a study that examined the relationship between economic security and public land management strategies. The study's authors concluded that in rural counties in the Rocky Mountain West "as the proportion of conservation/recreation lands declines, so do indicators of economic health and growth" (Southwick 2012, 19). By contrast, we find that wilderness and public lands, in general, negatively impacts local economic conditions.
Date Published: 12/31/2012
There has been a lack of consensus among authors on the effects Wilderness Lands have on local economies, the environment, and the counties in which they reside. The goal of our research was to provide an analysis on the missing pieces of the research. To this point, there was no analysis done specifically on the effects Wilderness Lands have on local government tax revenue. Through our two-part test, we found that sales and property taxes in counties with Wilderness Lands are higher than those that do not have the presence of Wilderness Lands. However we also found that expenditures in counties with Wilderness Lands are more than expenditure costs in counties without Wilderness Lands.
Date Published: 6/30/2012