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Revenue Estimating Conference

As Expected, Budget Holes Remain Unfilled

Mar 17, 2016
Sue Lincoln

The Revenue Estimating Conference met Wednesday, and we finally have updated figures on the status of the state budget. For the current fiscal year, there’s still a deficit.

“You’re about at 66-million,” House Fiscal Officer Patrick Goldsmith told the panel.

Governor John Bel Edwards had said Monday he thought the estimated deficit would come in lower, between $30-million and $60-million.

However, the projected deficit for FY 17, which starts July 1, 2016, is lower than expected.

State Revenues Keep Circling the Drain

Feb 11, 2016
Mark Carroll

State fiscal analysts did not spare the bad news when the Revenue Estimating Conference met Wednesday.

“Sales tax is stagnating,” Legislative Fiscal analyst Greg Albrecht advised, adding, “The employment numbers are so bad it’s going to bleed into those income tax numbers.”

Manfred Dix with the Division of Administration was a bit more understated with his pronouncements on the revenue downturns.

“A substantial downgrade in the corporate forecast is advisable,” Dix said, regarding the fact the state has paid out more in corporate tax refunds than it has collected in corporate taxes paid. “It is really bad.”

S. Lincoln: screenshot from debate broadcast

The Revenue Estimating Conference met Monday, acknowledging oil and gas prices, sales tax and corporate tax collections are far below what was anticipated.

Legislative fiscal analyst Greg Albrecht summed it up, saying, “We’re a long way from hitting the total forecast.”

The state is $370-million away, in the current fiscal year.  The biggest hole is created not by oil prices, but by corporate taxes. The explanation offered was businesses had rushing to claim tax credits before legislative reductions kicked in.

Sue Lincoln

Six weeks into the new state budget, and many are worriedly asking, “Is the new budget okay?”

“That’s a big unknown,” Legislative Fiscal Analyst Greg Albrecht told the Revenue Estimating Conference Friday. “We’re going to have a high degree of uncertainty, I think, in this overall package.”


Commissioner Aware But Not Alarmed Over Oil Prices

Jul 31, 2015

The price of oil has dropped more than $10 per barrel over the past month. And many of the fortunetellers of fossil fuel finances are now saying this is the new normal.

“Fortunately for Louisiana, we took the most conservative pricing as we built the forecast for FY ‘15, FY ‘16 and ’17,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols says, noting that Louisiana’s revenue stream is no longer as heavily dependent on oil as it once was.

Oil Prices Renew State Budget Worries

Jul 20, 2015
Sue Lincoln

Oil prices have dropped again, closing just above 50-dollars per barrel all last week. What does that mean for Louisiana’s precariously balanced budget?

“Obviously, if oil prices stay in the low to mid-50s, relative to our 60, 62 dollar price, at some point we’ll have to, you know, reconsider that forecast price,” Legislative fiscal analyst Greg Albrecht says.

Albrecht explains each one dollar drop in the yearly average price of oil costs Louisiana $11-million in revenue.

Tensions Grow, Along With State Deficit

Jan 27, 2015

Skies may actually be clear over Baton Rouge today, but gloom hangs over the state capitol, as the Revenue Estimating Conference downgraded Louisiana’s income forecasts Monday. That means there’s a $103-million shortfall for the current fiscal year. And the deficit for the next budget year, which starts July 1, has ballooned to $1.6-billion.


The 54-Million-Dollar Question: FY 2015

May 20, 2014
Sue Lincoln

The Revenue Estimating Conference, the state’s official income predictors, met Monday afternoon to adopt new revenue projections for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1.

LSU economist Dr. Jim Richardson had immediate concerns about the Jindal administration’s numbers, which included $54-million extra in anticipated tax collections.

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