The General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division yesterday released its revenue report for the current fiscal year (which began July 1). The early returns are not encouraging.
• Revenues through the first four months of the fiscal year are 1.5 percent below target.
• Collections through October are running $95 million below a $5.9 billion target.
In other words, budget writers approved a budget that spent $95 million too much over the first four months of the fiscal year. If this trend continues, Gov. Perdue will be forced to once again hold back money from state agencies, and another round of state employee unpaid furloughs may be inevitable.
But the early returns, however, don’t tell us too much about whether or not revenues will be sufficient or not by the end of the year. The holiday shopping season and end-of-year tax returns for businesses and capital gains will have major sway over the state’s revenue picture before the end of the fiscal year.