Lawmakers Get Disappointing News From The Revenue Estimating Conference
State lawmakers did not receive any good news today in terms of higher than expected revenues to help reduce the budget deficit. The Revenue Estimating Conference met this morning and did not change next fiscal year’s revenue forecast. Economist Manfred Dix says low tax collections impacted the estimates.
“It’s not doing that great compared to previous fiscal years, which is why our forecast is relatively low,” Dix said.
The REC determined that unemployment has been rising in Louisiana since September, the price of oil has not gone up as much as they’d hoped, and tax collections were lower than anticipated. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says lawmakers did not see the overall growth that they wanted to see. He says they will have to stick with the revenue estimate they have.
“It seems like, if I’m understanding everything I’m hearing, that we ought not make any move to revise the forecast going forward,” Dardenne said.
Senate President John Alario says legislators may need to take another look at raising revenues when they meet for a second special session next month, which means another revenue estimating conference could be called.
“When we do come in a special session to try to solve the $600 million problem, we have to have another one of these in the June time,” Alario said.