The National Conference of State Legislatures just released its State Budget Update: November 2007 report (fee required). The report focuses primarily on expected tax revenues to state governments across the nation. One item to note is a chart which details a survey of legislative fiscal offices, in which respondents rate their state’s revenue outlook for the remainder of FY2008. North Carolina is marked as "concerned." Other choices include "optimistic", "stable" and "pessimistic." NC was one of 19 states in the "concerned" category, with the other 32 either "optimistic" or "stable" (Puerto Rico was included in the survey).
North Carolina’s "concerned" status comes in spite of data contained elsewhere in the report stating "personal income tax revenue is stronger than expected" and General Fund Revenues "exceeded estimates by roughly $75 million, or 1.7%" (through September).
So NC officials are "concerned" about the revenue prospects even though personal income tax revenues (the state’s top revenue source) are stronger than expected, and overall GF revenues are exceeding expectations? Curious. I know the housing sector slowdown will impact the economy, but that is a nationwide problem. Why aren’t more than 19 states "concerned" about revenues as a result? Furthermore, NC is expected to be one of the states least effected by the housing slump.
I don’t know about you, but whenever state officials claim they are "concerned" about revenue streams, I start to get real "concerned" about them raising our taxes.