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DUCHESNE’S RED INK FOR ’95 MAY BE LESS THAN EXPECTED

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There's good news and bad news when it comes to the 1995 Duchesne County budget.

The good news is that it appears Duchesne County will have a little more money coming in than originally anticipated. The bad news is that it still won't be enough to ward off massive budget cuts and forestall a new tax.Last week, county commissioners looked at ways to erase $510,931 from the 1995 budget. However, with additional revenue now expected, and due to the planned enactment of a 1 percent restaurant tax, auditor Diane Freston said figures indicate cuts won't be that severe.

"Now they are looking at cuts totaling between $350,000 and $400,000, when before they thought it would be around $510,000," she said.

According to Freston, preliminary figures indicate that sales tax revenue estimated at $250,000 will likely come in at $300,000. Payments in lieu of taxes from the federal government to the county are expected to come in at $330,000 next year, instead of $300,000 as first projected. And it looks like fee in lieu payments to the county will generate an additional $25,000 in revenue next year.

The 1 percent tax at all eating establishments is expected to raise an additional $35,000 next year. Commissioners have earmarked the "sandwich tax" revenue to go to help fund the Duchesne County Area Chamber of Commerce, freeing up revenue previously spent there.

So far, commissioners have made cuts totaling over $350,000, said Freston. The biggest bite was taken out of the road department budget. That budget, already down by $291,442 from last year, will take another $200,000 in cuts. Other spending adjustments were made by eliminating requests for equipment in various departments and employee raises.

Additional cuts are still expected as commissioners continue shaping the budget this week in preparation for a public hearing Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Duchesne County Courthouse.