For the third year in a row, state revenues exceeded expenditures in Utah in the 1989-90 fiscal year, according to an analysis made by the Utah Foundation, a private tax research organization.
The foundation attributes the positive balance to conservative spending by the state government and a generally healthy state economy.According to the foundation, revenue in that fiscal year totaled $2,969,233,000 and expenditures reached $2,847,729,000. Nearly half of the $121.5 million in excess funds, however, is in the state's unemployment compensation trust fund.
That fund is financed by payroll taxes collected from state employers and earmarked for benefit payments to unemployed workers. It is not available for general revenue spending.
State taxes in Utah amounted to $1,933,703,000, or 65 percent of the total revenue receipts in the year studied. This is an increase of $86.5 million over the previous year.
With no major changes in the state's tax structure between the two fiscal years, foundation analysts attribute the growth to the state's improving economy.
The general sales tax continues to be the largest single tax source in the state, producing 37 percent of all state tax revenue, or $710 million for the state and $168 million for local governments.
The personal income tax raised $660 million, motor fuel taxes accounted for $180 million, and corporate income taxes raised $104 million, according to foundation analysts.
Local property taxes raised $757 million in fiscal 1990, but all of the proceeds go to local, not state, governments.
Although expecting Utah's economy to do better than the nation's as a whole in the upcoming year, foundation analysts also warned that a national recession could have negative effects on the state's economic growth.