Minor revenues flat in projections for Economic Forum

In a prelude to next week’s Economic Forum, that body’s Technical Advisory Committee Thursday projected the state’s so-called “minor revenues” will generate $690 million by the end of this fiscal year and another $981.5 million over the coming two-year budget cycle.

The panel of fiscal experts primarily from state and local government agreed current receipts are basically so close to what they projected November 30 that only minor adjustments are needed.

Russell Guindon, head economist for the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said collections are projected down about $3 million this fiscal year, up $1.7 million in fiscal 2014 and another $2.4 million in 2015. Overall, he said that is less than a half-percent off the December projections.

“We’re making mostly small tweaks, sort of just truing up,” Guindon said.

The TAC makes projections for the forum on more than 70 smaller tax, licensing and fee revenue sources so that its members can concentrate on the major revenue streams. The forum can modify those numbers but normally accepts them.

The majors, which will be set by the forum May 1, are the sales and use tax, gross gaming fee, live entertainment tax, insurance premium tax, modified business tax and real estate transfer tax.

When the forum met Nov. 30, members projected a total of $5.8 billion in General Fund revenues for the governor and lawmakers to spend on the coming two-year budget.

Lawmakers and the governor are hoping for a significant increase May 1 but since revenues are actually coming nearly as close to projections for major revenue steams as they are for the minors, they’re unlikely to get as much more to spend as they would like.

Also not included in the TAC projections are revenues generated by a list of tax increases approved by the 2011 Legislature, but scheduled to sunset in the coming budget cycle. Under law, the forum and TAC must make their projections using existing law even though those sunsets are to be extended to balance the state budget.

Those sunsetted revenue streams generate an estimated $696 million to balance the current two-year budget from sources including increases to the Local School Support Tax, Modified Business Tax and Business License fee along with sweeping existing revenues to the General Fund including part of the Governmental Services Tax.

Sandoval’s proposed budget includes extending those sunsets.


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