Budget pressure increased Monday on the Nebraska Legislature, when the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board voted to lower revenue projections.The board provides an advisory forecast of general fund receipts used by the Legislature to craft the state’s budget, which must be balanced under the state constitution.
Revenue projections for the current fiscal year as well as 2017-18 were lowered significantly.
Total projected revenue receipts for 2016-17 were lowered to $4.31 billion, a decrease of $91 million.
Projected total receipts for 2017-18 were set at $4.51 billion, a decrease of $51.2 million.
The cause is primarily anticipated decreases in individual income tax revenues of $55 million in 2016-17 and $20 million in 2017-18.
In addition, overall projected revenue receipts for 2018-19 were set at $4.73 billion, a $26.3 million decrease.
A preliminary budget had put the state $134.7 million short of achieving the minimum cash reserve. The net impact of the revised forecast adds $152.9 million to that imbalance, which now totals $287.6 million.
The next forecasting board meeting is scheduled for April 26.
“Today’s adjusted forecast underscores the need for continued fiscal restraint from every single state-funded entity,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said. “We must tighten our belts and balance the budget without raising taxes.”
The North Platte Bulletin contributed to this report.