State revenues $81 million ahead of projections |

State revenues $81 million ahead of projections

The Economic Forum was told Wednesday that state general fund revenues are $80.69 million ahead of the projections that body made in January.

Russell Guindon, chief economist for the Legislative Counsel Bureau fiscal division, said that doesn’t resolve the state’s budget crunch.

“But we at least know on the revenue side we’re about $81 million to the good,” he said.

Guindon made the statement during the forum’s initial look at the state’s fiscal situation. That body was created by the 1993 Legislature to make official projections both the governor’s office and lawmakers must use in building the state budget. It consists of five appointees from the private sector who have financial experience and expertise. The chairman is Las Vegas businessman John Restrepo.

According to figures Restrepo presented Wednesday, the only major sources of tax revenue lagging behind the January projections used by the 26th special session of the Legislature were those for gaming and the Secretary of State’s securities revenue. While the securities revenue is just a half million shy of the mark, gaming percentage fees – which provide more than a quarter of general fund revenues in any year – are nearly $8.9 million behind the $639.4 million projection.

Sales tax collections, however, are $25.5 million ahead of projections, the modified business tax $14 million ahead and the insurance premium tax $11 million more than expected.

Live entertainment collections, real estate transfer taxes and several other smaller revenue sources also are coming in better than projected.

The panel will meet again Nov. 5 to hear detailed revenue projections for each of the state’s major sources of tax revenue then again Dec. 1 to formally make its projections for the coming biennium.