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May Revenues Show Rebounding Real Estate Transfer Tax

June 8, 2018 Common Cents
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State revenues were closer to expectations in May after three months of abnormal receipts, with most major sources bringing in about as much revenue as planned for May and the largest deviation coming from a rebounding Real Estate Transfer Tax. Although May is not an important month for the state’s two main business taxes, receipts from these two sources only contributed modestly to the surplus and showed a small decline from May of last year.

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Legislature Spends Most of Surplus, Raising Questions for Next Year

May 24, 2018 Common Cents
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On May 23, the Legislature passed several bills with fiscal impacts, including the omnibus spending bill that behaved like a miniature budget this legislative session. The total expenditures passed amount to approximately $129.1 million in new General and Education Trust Funds spending, with additional expenditures outside of these two funds and certain changes to revenues. This total is quite substantial for a non-budget year and reflects the Legislature’s willingness to use the large revenue surplus, collected primarily from the previous three months, without leaving a significant cushion for the second fiscal year of the State Budget. With abnormally high revenues not expected to be sustained, the Legislature is leaving fewer available resources for State Budget negotiations and any unanticipated costs next year.

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Legislature Considers Mini-Budget, Many Other Spending Bills as Session Ends

May 14, 2018 Common Cents
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Following a flurry of amendments to existing bills, the Legislature now faces major spending decisions in a non-budget year that would make use of the current unrestricted revenue surplus. Bills to authorize new State expenditures totaling approximately $130.4 million, which is in addition to the current State operating budget, propose major changes, including a new agreement with hospitals over reimbursements, education and transportation infrastructure funding, State employee salary increases, and reductions in state revenue. The Legislature is convening a Committee of Conference on the largest bill on May 15, and plans to wrap up all its business by May 24.

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Business Tax Revenues Drive Surplus with Continued Abnormal Behavior

4 Oct 2018

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Business tax revenues, propelled higher by certain unusual trends, continued to overperform in September, which is the largest revenue month in the new fiscal year thus far. Business tax extension revenues continued to be well above normal, suggesting more or larger businesses are delaying their final business tax filings. Revenue from estimated payments, which are due for many businesses in September, grew at a steadier pace relative to prior years, and revenue from final business tax returns remained lower. Other tax revenues were a mixed bag in September and during the year thus far, with business taxes accounting for nearly all the revenue surplus over the budget plan in the first quarter.