For the eighth time in nine months, the state has fallen short of predicted revenue. And this comes at a crucial time in the budget process.
March's report on tax collections shows they were down $203 million from what was expected - including a $95 million shortfall in income tax. And overall tax revenue for the year is off by more than half a billion dollars – $615 million. Budget director Tim Keen blames the slow economy, and also says income tax refunds are much bigger than were predicted. And this means there will likely be less money available in the two-year budget now being discussed. “We are going to have to revisit our revenue estimates, and we likely are going to have to reduce those 18-19 revenue estimates.”
Keen is urging lawmakers to hold the line on spending, including avoiding adding money to K-12 education. But Keen says with reserve funds, the state will still end the fiscal year in the black.