Council revises down revenue growth projection - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Council revises down revenue growth projection

At the Council on Revenues meeting. Photo by Jim Mendoza. At the Council on Revenues meeting. Photo by Jim Mendoza.
Neil Abercrombie Neil Abercrombie
Calvin Say Calvin Say

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Council on Revenues Tuesday revised its projection on state revenues to decline to -1.6 percent, down from a March 10 forecast of .5 percent growth. That adds another $93 million to the state's projected deficit for fiscal 2011.

According to state Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young that amount now stands at about $200 million.  The revised numbers put the deficit through fiscal 2013 at $1.3 billion.

The new projection attempts to factor in the disasters in Japan. But council chairman Paul Brewbaker said an "unusually low" total of February tax collections was a bigger factor in the drop than the declining numbers of visitor arrivals from Japan.

Still, the panel's members said it's too early to tell how deep the fallout will be from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear scare in Japan.

"If the nuclear crisis continues for four to six months all bets are off," council member Carl Bonham said.

Governor Neil Abercrombie asked the council to hold a special meeting to revise its forecast, factoring in Japan's situation, the unrest in the Middle East and Africa, and an anticipated drop in federal funding since the council last met on March 10. 

The Council on Revenues next meeting will be in June.

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