PROJECTIONS MAKE STATE BUDGET HEALTHIER

IOWA—THE IOWA LEGISLATURE WILL HAVE AN ADDITIONAL 120-MILLION DOLLARS TO SPEND THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT ACCORDING TO PROJECTIONS FROM A PANEL OF STATE BUDGET EXPERTS.

THE THREE MEMBER REVENUE ESTIMATING CONFERENCE MONDAY FORECASTED A NEARLY 3-PERCENT INCREASE IN TAX COLLECTIONS THIS YEAR AND A 4-PERCENT INCREASE NEXT YEAR.

REC MEMBER HOLLY LYONS, THE DIRECTOR OF THE LEGISLATIVE SERVICES AGENCY, SAYS TAX COLLECTIONS ARE UP AS MAJOR SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY BEGIN TO REBOUND.

AT THE CURRENT PACE OF RECOVERY, LYONS PREDICTS IT WILL TAKE NINE YEARS TO REACH PRE-RECESSION EMPLOYMENT LEVELS.

THE REC PREDICTS THE STATE WILL COLLECT MORE THAN 6-BILLION DOLLARS IN TAXES NEXT YEAR.

THAT’S 85-MILLION MORE THAN THE LAST ESTIMATE IN OCTOBER.

THE CHAIR OF THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, SCOTT RAECKER, SAYS THAT’S GOOD NEWS, BUT IT WON’T ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR BUDGET CUTS.

RAECKER PREDICTS THE LEGISLATURE WILL HAVE TO CUT UP TO $700-MILLION WORTH OF PROPOSED SPENDING TO BALANCE THE BUDGET.

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