Nevada $1.2 billion in the hole for current biennium

The Economic Forum has set total general fund revenues for the coming biennium some $1.2 billion below what the governor and Legislature approved for the current biennium.

The total projected General Found revenue for the coming biennium is $5.65 billion. That compares to $6.8 billion originally approved for this biennium.

Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, said that billion dollar gap between revenue and projected expenditures is the really harsh number lawmakers will have to deal with when the 2009 Legislature convenes in February. And that gap doesn't account for inflation and roll-ups " the scheduled and unavoidable increases in rent, state salaries, insurance and other such costs.

But in what may be somewhat good news, the $330 million remaining shortfall for the remaining eight months of this fiscal year grew by only about $10 million. 

The forum consists of five outside financial professional appointed by the governor Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker. They are charged with developing and setting the revenue projections the state must use in building its budget.

The harshest reductions were made in the largest sources of state revenue " the sales and use  taxes and gaming taxes and fees which, together, generate about two-thirds of General Fund revenue.

Lawmakers had scheduled a conference call immediately after the forum to discuss how they will go about making the final $340 millin in cuts this fiscal year.


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