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State revenues align with new forecast in January

BISMARCK - North Dakota's tax revenues in January continued to fall far short of expectations from a year ago, but the state's budget director was pleased to see they were in line with a revised revenue forecast released Feb. 1.

BISMARCK – North Dakota’s tax revenues in January continued to fall far short of expectations from a year ago, but the state’s budget director was pleased to see they were in line with a revised revenue forecast released Feb. 1.

The state collected about $160.3 million in tax revenue last month. That was $65.5 million less than the legislative forecast that lawmakers used to set the state’s two-year budget last spring, but only $1.4 million, or 0.9 percent, below the revised forecast.

“It seems like this is much more aligned with what’s actually happening,” Office of Management and Budget Director Pam Sharp said.

The revised forecast projects general fund revenues will total $4.6 billion for the 2015-17 biennium, or $1.07 billion less than projected at the end of the 2015 legislative session.

To offset the shortfall, Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered $245 million in budget cuts and will cover the remainder with $498 million from the Budget Stabilization Fund and $332 million that was expected to be a surplus.

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January’s tax figures show that revenues for the first seven months of the biennium were down 0.2 percent compared with the same period in 2013-15.

Sharp said it’s the first biennium since at least the mid-1990s in which revenue collections have lagged the previous biennium.

 

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