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August 20, 2014

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Damon Political Report

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State revenue forecasters to project an additional $72 million to offset budget hole

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A committee that helps determine forecasts of the state’s minor tax revenues is expected to give lawmakers a $72 million leg up on the budget hole when it meets this afternoon.

The Technical Advisory Committee to the Economic Forum—a panel of business people who set the official revenue forecasts for the state—is responsible for forecasting the state’s minor tax revenues.

According to documents prepared for that meeting, forecasts for those minor revenues are expected to come in $72 million higher than what was predicted when the committee last met in December.

Driving the increase are bumps in the net proceeds tax paid by mining companies and the unclaimed property fund, which is collecting revenue at a rate higher than expected.

The Economic Forum meets on Monday and will decide forecasts for the major tax revenues, including sales, gaming and insurance premium taxes.

Many expect the forum to up its forecasts from December, based on a higher collections of sales tax and some other revenues. Gaming tax revenue continues to slump, however, which will offset some of that sales tax growth.

The forecast number is key as Sandoval searches for new revenue to plug into his budget and Democrats argue the need for a tax increase.

Some sources expected the Economic Forum to forecast an additional $100 million to $200 million in revenue, while others who are more pessimistic expect another $50 million to $100 million.

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