The official revenue forecast was adopted yesterday by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. It contains a little good news for budget writers. Here’s the key slide:
It’s up $334 million for the balance of this biennium and $125 million for the next. Sure, it’s not providing the billions of new revenues some say will be required to handle school funding, public employee collective bargaining agreements, and other likely demands on the budget. But it’s growth and further testimony to the strength of the state economy.
And overall the trend looks good, as ERFC reports.
Forecasted revenue for the current (2015-17) biennium was increased by $334 million, due mainly to forecasted increases in retail sales tax and REET collections. Forecasted GF-S revenue for the 2015-17 biennium is now $37.765 billion, an increase of 12.2% above that of the 2013-15 biennium.
Forecasted revenue for the 2017-19 biennium was increased by $125 million. As in the current biennium, most of the increase was from retail sales taxes and REET. Forecasted GF-S revenue for the 2017-19 biennium is now $40.377 billion, 6.9% more than that of the 2015-17 biennium.
Forecasted GF-S revenue for the 2019-21 biennium is $43.630 billion, $55 million more than projected in June. This is an 8.1% increase from forecasted 2017-19 biennial revenue.
The Associated Press reports the state budget director’s reaction.
“Today’s increase in our revenue forecast is only modest, but it’s great to see our state’s economy continuing to move in the right direction,” David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management, said in a news release. “Certainly, having nearly $2 billion in reserves will be a big help given the challenges we will face in the next biennium to fund education and meet other critical needs.”
The next forecast will be released in November, forming the basis for the governor’s budget proposal.