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State is running $57 million surplus

Utah state coffers continue to look strong, although state economic forecasters are cautioning that a number of risk factors could cut into the surpluses.

Currently, the state is running a $57 million surplus for fiscal year 2004, which began in July, said Doug Macdonald, chief economist for the Utah Tax Commission. That includes a $15 million surplus in sales tax, a $23 million surplus in personal income tax and an $11 million surplus in corporate taxes.

Macdonald tempered his comments with some warnings about the future, however, and said that a number of factors could impact the revenue, including rising interest rates and the continued high debt-to-income ratio within the state. Of greatest concern were the rising fuel prices, which he expected to top $2.50 in coming months "as more foreign countries demand more oil."