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UTAH TAXPAYERS SHELL OUT ABOUT $60 MILLION SURPLUS

Utah taxpayers handed over an estimated $60 million in surplus tax revenue to the state in fiscal 1994.

Gov. Mike Leavitt was expected to announce Tuesday afternoon the official June 30 surplus, which will run between $25 million and $35 million. However, that number does not include the $32.8 million in surplus tax revenue that the 1994 Legislature has already spent.Leo Memmott, legislative fiscal analyst, estimated in February that the state would have $58.3 million in revenue surpluses in fiscal 1994, which ended June 30. Of that, lawmakers and Leavitt spent $32.8 million in what's called the "supplemental appropriations act," which is, in essence, a huge spending bill for a variety of items, such new state cars, more money for Medicare, etc.

Rep. John Valentine, R-Orem, House co-chairman of the budget committee, estimates the state will end the fiscal 1994 year with about $28 million more than lawmakers spent in February. That would give a fiscal 1994 total of about $61 million, which would make it the largest surplus since 1990's $61.2 million surplus.

He called the $28 million difference a "statistical aberration" in a $2.5 billion budget.