These days it is not unusual to hear state lawmakers say that the budget has a “structural imbalance.” But many people have no idea what that phrase means.State Senator Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, says he learned soon after his election that a structural imbalance is a critical part of the budget process and it means paying for programs with one-time money. He says if you pay employees’ salaries with one-time money, the revenue won’t be there the next year. On KVNU’s For the People program Thursday, Knudson said Utah had no problem with this in the past.”What’s happened during these economic downturns is that the stream of revenue from on-going dollars (sales taxes, income taxes) have been down,” Knudson said. “People haven’t had the revenue to spend. “So those tax collections have been down and what’s happened is we have gotten out of balance. We had to use one time money, like rainy-day fund. You have it there but if you spend it it’s gone.”Knudson says with sales tax and income tax down, the state started using one-time money for critical things. Fortunately, he says, lawmakers started turning that ship around last year.
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