Utah Congressman Jim Hansen is a "Taxpayers' Friend" - at least according to the National Taxpayers Union, which recently notified him that his voting record on reducing federal spending has earned him the group's award.

In a letter to the representative, the executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, David Keating, said Hansen's rating was one of the best in the U.S. Congress."You have won the Taxpayers' Friend Award each year since the beginning of your term in Congress," said Keating. "Only 23 other members of the House of Representatives can make a similar claim."

Hansen said his biggest concern is reducing the cost of government.

"It puts a big grin on my face to be recognized as a fiscal conservative rather than a big spender," he said. "The answer to significantly reducing the deficit is to hold down the constant growth in spending."

The National Taxpayers Union survey considered all relevant spending votes and weighed them according to importance. The 1987 rating was based on 218 roll call votes in the House. Hansen's score of 63 percent ranked him 33rd in the House of Representatives (out of 435 members), which puts him in the 92nd percentile.