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Economics Research Institute Study Paper




Utah State University Department of Economics

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This study is similar to other cost of government services studies that have been conducted in the United States and represents the second study done in Utah. But the results are different from previous studies in two important ways. First, the estimated payment of taxes by the agricultural/rural sector was generally not greater than the estimated services received for the units of government in Sanpete County, Utah, that were studied. Secondly, a recreational home sector was identified with subsequent estimation of revenues paid and government services obtained by this sector. Separation of this sector from the ruraVagricultural sector had a major impact on the ratios derived. However, it was not clear what methodes) best allocated revenues or expenditures to any of the sectors. As a result, several alternative allocation methods were used. As expected, the results differed, depending on the allocation method used. This suggests that the data and allocation method used represent important variables that must be understood when interpreting the results of any cost of government services study.