Those hoping for big surpluses to pay for special interest state initiatives can't find great encouragement in the state tax take for May.
Gross revenue of almost $433 million was 1.2 percent more than last year, but 1.7 percent below forecast.
The net figure was worse because of a one-time expense — only .7 percent ahead of last year. But the revenue was reduced by an $8.2 million sales and use tax refund in a court settlement.
The sales tax — a good measure of economic activity — was down a whopping 9 percent, or $17 million, from the same month last year (the collections reflect April spending for the most part). The report put some of that down to reduced sales taxes on utilities.
Here's the full report.
With one month to go in the budget year, the state is $104 million ahead of forecast. That figure amounts to the surplus. The governor plans to tap $40 million of that for highways next year.