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The Cost of Growth


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You’ve likely heard the news stories and read the headlines.

The State School Board wants a whopping 13 percent increase in school funding next year. Over the next 30 years, Utah’s Department of Transportation says $3.6 billion will be needed to keep us mobile. Other agencies talk of their monetary needs. There’s a common thread in all of the requests. It’s population growth!

The proliferation of those who call Utah home is inescapable. Official projections place the state’s population in 2020 at 3.4 million, up a million from today’s figure. It won’t be due to in-migration as much as the result of the people who live here having babies.

Growth is a reality! Also real is the challenge of accommodating that many more people. Among many other things, of course, schools must be built and the transportation infrastructure expanded.

It won’t happen without tremendous cost.

So Utahans must not summarily dismiss the studied projections and genuine budget requests of those charged with overseeing public programs. While belt-tightening is always in order, scrimping alone won’t solve the persistent budgeting dilemma.

In KSL’s view, Utahans need to be prepared to pay for the society they’re so prolifically and willingly creating.

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