Overall, the state’s fiscal analysts say revenue is right about where lawmakers expected it to be. But Senator Lyle Hillyard – who chairs the Executive Appropriations Committee - says the state won’t really know how much revenue is available to spend until August when all budget holes are filled.
“The concern I always have is when we hear a figure, for example, if we end up at the end of the year with a 30 million dollar surplus, that’s generally as high as we go. It’s usually less than that that we have to spend, said Hillyard, "So my comment is, when we look at these figures, don’t spend anything too quickly.”
Sales, individual, corporate, and severance tax revenue are all exceeding expectations. That means the General Fund and the Education Fund should be in good shape. But the Transportation Fund is anticipated to end the fiscal year as much as 20 million dollars below target. Analysts say improved fuel economy and smaller cars mean the state is making less on gas taxes. Cigarette and tobacco tax revenue is also down. Analysts say smokers are either quitting or buying their cigarettes out of state.