Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Report Due Thursday On State Revenues, Lawmakers Prepare For Bad News

Thursday the Department of Revenue is expected to report on tax receipts for the month of April and the Independent Fiscal Office holds a briefing at 3:00 p.m. on revenue projections for this fiscal year and next, but legislators who get daily reports on tax money coming in all said the same thing this week-- brace for bad news.
Senate Democrats say April revenues will be in the neighborhood of $477 million short of expectations and end of the fiscal year projections, they say, show a $600 million deficit.  March state revenues were $100 million below estimates.
Senate Republican Chair of the Appropriations Committee Jake Corman (R-Centre) said on the Senate Floor Wednesday new tax revenues from a natural gas severance tax, taxes smokeless tobacco or other measures will not be enough to fill the gaps.
Sen. Corman said there needs to be changes in the state’s pension systems and Medicaid spending to eliminate automatic growth in the budget.
Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said Wednesday the Governor is prepare to go back and re-examine the $29.4 billion spending proposal he outlined in February, but would not say what that amount would be.
At the mid-fiscal year budget briefing in December, Secretary Zogby had predicted a $232 million surplus for the year ending June 30.
Clearly “Mayday” may have a different meaning for state budget makers by the end of Thursday.

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