by Max Brantley
The state revenue report for the fiscal year ending June 30 is in and it shows net income for the year up by almost $250 million, or 5.8 percent more than the previous year, and 2.1 percent above forecast. It was a welcome trend reversal. Total income declined each of the last two years.
State officials see an economic recovery in the annual numbers, but note a softness in sales tax collections, which fell below forecast, perhaps due to the rising price of gasoline.
HOWEVER, the numbers for June itself were robust — net revenues up 13.3 percent against the same month a year ago and 18.9 percent more than forecast.
The state ended the year with a "surplus" in the range of $90 million. Some of that money is committed. All could be readily committed to Medicaid, prisons and other projects with yawning needs. Roby Brock talked to some legislative leaders about the surplus and got some sound, cautious comments on both sides of the aisle. Some teabaggers will soon be singing a different tune, sound government not being one of their priorities.