Salt Lake County Commissioner Mike Stewart - in his role as president of the National Association of Counties - is among Republicans bashing the budget compromise pushed by President Bush and congressional leaders.

He issued a statement from NACo headquarters in Washington that the nation's counties will fight the package because it would limit federal tax deductions for state and local income and property taxes and would increase gasoline taxes."We are strongly opposed to this budget package. It is unfortunate that we have to oppose the entire package because of these two proposals, but we have been given no other choice," Stewart said.

He said limiting deductions for state and local taxes amounts to "double taxation" because the federal government would impose taxes on money that citizens already paid local taxes on.

"Lower tax revenues for state and local governments would, in turn, translate into cutbacks in services that would adversely affect all citizens, but particularly middle and lower income individuals."