Utah's Estimated Surplus Expands to Over $162 M

Utah's Estimated Surplus Expands to Over $162 M

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's estimated surplus has expanded to more than 162 (M)million dollars from 112 (M)million dollars reported last month.

That's according to the latest State Tax Commission revenue summary that was released yesterday.

Senate President John Valentine said it's starting to look like a trend and it's been nothing but good news.

A Salt Lake Tribune poll last week found that 60 percent of Utah residents surveyed want lawmakers to spend the surplus on education. Fourteen percent are looking for a tax refund. About 13 percent say state leaders should stash the cash into the rainy-day fund. And eight percent say the money should pay for roads and highways.

Valentine said Utah residents will likely get their wish. He said much of the surplus comes from corporate and individual income taxes, which are earmarked for education. Utah schools will get most of the surplus, more than 101 (M)million dollars.

By the numbers:
- Growth of state surplus reported this month: $50 million.
- Revenues for this year: State sales tax collections up $34 million.
- Individual income tax collections up $95 million.
- Corporate franchise tax up $6 million.
- Oil and gas leases up $20 million.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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