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The Legislature will have $88 million more than it had expected for next year's budget, leaders announced Friday based on new quarterly revenue estimates.
Some types of taxes were down, while other were up. That means some budget areas, such as transportation, will actually receive less than expected. Others, such as education will receive significantly more.
Overall, Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, the Senate chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee, said the Legislature overall will have $375 million more to spend in fiscal 2018 than it had for 2017.
"These numbers surprised me a lot," he said.
Rep. Dean Sanpei, R-Provo, the House chairman of Appropriations, said, the increases approaching "$100 million seems like a lot of money. But in a $15 billion budget, it's less than 1 percent. So we still have quite a bit of work to prioritize" spending requests for many times that amount.
Still, a $100-million-or-so increase "is better than $100 million the other way," said House Majority Leader Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville.
Stevenson warned that with funding requests still exceeding available revenue, "This doesn't mean that we're going to go out and go on a spending spree."
Education received the best news. Sanpei said growth in income taxes that fund it will bring an extra $22 million in one-year-only funding, and $75 million ongoing.
Transportation received the worst news. Because of drops in revenue expected from gasoline tax and some sales tax earmarks, that fund will be down by $3 million in one-time funds and another $7 million ongoing, Sanpei said.
The general fund dropped by $10 million in one-time money, but was up by $13 million in ongoing funds a net increase of $3 million over previous expectations, Sanpei said.
Stevenson noted that sales tax revenue would likely have been down, if not for the new agreement with online retailer Amazon to collect tax for its online sales in the state.
Compared to the previous year, "The general fund has grown by 4.6 percent overall, for a total of $6.3 billion. The education fund has grown by 5.75 percent overall, which is a total of 6.6 billion." Sanpei said.
He added that the tax system still has "some volatility that we may want to deal with" through a reform.
Gov. Gary Herbert said the revised numbers "show how a vibrant, growing and well-diversified economy is the best way to support our funding priorities."
He has opposed the Our Schools Now drive to put a $750 million income tax increase on the ballot to help education, saying such an increase could chase companies out of the state.
Herbert also said Friday, "I look forward to working with the Legislature to assure that the majority of our surplus goes to supporting student learning and achievement."