Council projects increase in tax revenue - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Council projects increase in tax revenue

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The State Council on Revenues predicts an increase in tax revenues for the state in the current fiscal year.

The council said Wednesday that there will be a three percent increase in revenue for the fiscal year that ends June 30th. The council earlier projected a two percent increase. The new forecast means a projected increase of $44 million in general fund revenues.  

"The big factor limiting budget options is the great tax rebate postponement. to avoid deeper state cutbacks in the last fiscal year," said Hawaii News Now resident explainer Howard Dicus.

"Governor Lingle and the legislature co-conspired to push tax refunds into July, creating a major cost item in the current fiscal year. Because of that, Governor Abercrombie was expecting a $71 million deficit," Dicus said. "If the Council on Revenues' new forecast nails it, the deficit would be reduced by about two thirds. The gap would be $27 million, an amount that might be closable without too much pain."

Meantime, state House Republican leader Gene Ward expressed cautious optimism about the forecast. "While I am encouraged by this one percent increase, we are still facing a budget crisis that the governor, the legislature and the people of Hawaii will have to work hard to overcome," Ward said.

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