Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Former Utah State Tax Commission Economist Makes Surplus Estimates That The State Refuses To Make.

In a recent DesNews article former state tax economists used numbers from the state tax commission's last TC-23 to extrapolate an estimated $150 million surplus over budget (in the first four months" of fiscal year 2006-07, if the model were ran through all of fiscal'06-'07 (6/30-7/1) the "legislators and Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. could be looking at $450 million in one-time monies — a new record for the tax-rich Utah state government."

All of this is unofficial because the officials over at the tax commission refuse to give public estimates.

"they didn't believe such estimates -- without Macdonald's work -- were reliable."

It is frustrating that such a tax rich state refuses to show more accountability of tax funds. It was interesting in one of my earliest staff meetings in the accounting firm that I currently work withcolleaguegue presented a federal report regarding tax collections and government spending. I naively asked where is the report from the state of Utah. "Other than the TC-23, there isn't anything so in depth," was the reply I got -- then the state dropped that as well.

The State Tax Commission needs to at least bring back the TC-23 -- and add much, much more to it! In my ideal world, I would like to see much more analysis of where tax dollars are spent. I would also like to have more information on the budgets of respective state government agencies.

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