The General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division has a report updating state revenues through the end of February. Some key findings:
• General Fund revenue for the first 8 months of the fiscal year are $45 million below a $12.1 billion target for the period.
– Through the efforts of the Department of Revenue and its resolution payment initiative, the revenue shortfall has been greatly reduced with the collection of $422 million from over 200 taxpayers. That is $272 more than what was included in the budget.
– Without this additional $272 million in revenue the shortfall would be close to $320 million or 2.6% below the budget target.
– Weak economy-based taxes remain the key reason for the budget shortfall.
And the outlook for revenue availability for the FY 2010-11 budget lawmakers will craft this summer does not look promising:
• The biennial budget for 2009-2011 included a tentative 3.2% baseline revenue growth rate for the 2010-11 fiscal year. One of the purposes of the upcoming budget session is to consider adjusting this outlook to reflect recent changes in the economic environment.
When the report says “adjusting this outlook” I think it is safe to assume they will revise down their revenue projections, meaning the budget will be even tighter that anticipated.