Neb. tax revenue beat projections in September for 2nd month in a row to help budget outlook

Friday, October 8, 2010

Neb. tax revenue tops projections 2 months in row

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska tax revenue beat projections in September for the second month in a row, according to a report released Friday, making it appear less likely a special legislative session will be needed to balance the current budget.

The predictions for the next two-year state budget remain bleak, however. The Nebraska Department of Revenue said net tax revenue last month just topped projections by 0.3 percent.

The state collected $340.8 million, or about $900,000 more than the $339.9 million experts had expected.

State officials will continue to monitor revenue figures closely, but Gov. Dave Heineman said the tax receipts for the past two months are encouraging.

“This good news on receipts and the recent decline in the unemployment rate are positive indicators that our economy may be turning the corner,” Heineman said.

Through the first three months of the state’s fiscal year, revenue remains about 1 percent below projections. Nebraska has collected $842 million in tax revenue since July, nearly $10 million less than expected.

The latest projections from the state Legislative Fiscal Office show a possible two-year budget shortfall of $751 million. Lawmakers will have to address that when they meet again in January.

All state agencies have developed proposals to cut 10 percent of their budgets, but it won’t be clear until later exactly how much those agency budgets might have to be cut.

The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board is scheduled to meet Oct. 29 to predict state tax revenues for the fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Those projections will play a key role in the development of the state’s next two-year budget.


Nebraska Revenue Department:

will not be displayed