Utah votes to save some oil and gas taxes

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A recount confirms that Utah voters narrowly agreed to put a share of oil and gas riches into a permanent trust fund.

The Utah State Board of Canvassers said Monday that the constitutional amendment was approved, 51 percent to 49 percent, with more than 79,000 absentee and provisional ballots added to the Nov. 6 results.

The measure diverts a portion of Utah's tax on oil and gas drilling into permanent trust fund already fortified with tobacco settlement money.

The sponsor, Republican state Rep. Jim Nielson of Bountiful, calls it a hurricane fund for really bad times, not just another rainy-day fund.

It would take a three-quarter vote of the Utah House and Senate and the governor's signature to spend any of the money.

The measure takes effect in 2016.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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