Opinion Columns & Blogs

Disappointing tax collections add to budget pressure

After four consecutive months of the state exceeding its tax-collection forecasts, it’s disappointing that the state missed its March estimates by $11.7 million. That adds more pressure on lawmakers to climb out of the state’s budget hole. The biggest miss was individual income taxes, which were $11.1 million less than estimated (due primarily, according to state officials, to larger than expected income tax refunds). Corporate taxes were also less than the estimates, by $5.6 million. The state offset some of those shortfalls by collecting $2.3 million more in retail sales taxes than expected and $1.6 million more in oil and gas severance taxes. After the state significantly lowered its estimates last November, some lawmakers thought that overstated estimates were behind us. Not so. – Phillip Brownlee