Missouri officials expect revenue to grow 4 percent

Missouri budget officials expect state revenue to increase next year but still remain far below pre-recession levels.

The so-called consensus estimate of general state revenue for the budget year that begins in July was released Wednesday. The report predicts the state will collect about $7.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year. That would be up about 4 percent from the current budget year but well below the figure for 2008, when the state began having to cut spending.

The estimate is calculated by state and outside experts and agreed to by the governor and key legislators. It’s one factor in drafting the state budget.

Despite the expected growth, state budget director Linda Luebbering (LOO’-buh-ring) says the state may have to cut spending by $500 million next year.

Gov. Jay Nixon releases his proposed budget next month.