Forecasting Board Predicting $710-M Revenue Surplus

     The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board has raised its state revenue estimate for the next 3 years by $710-million dollars.

$105 million of that automatically goes into the state’s rainy day fund and minimum reserve.

      The Forecasting Board predicts the state will collect $285 million more in the current fiscal year than in its August projections with an additional $118-million in the fiscal year that starts next July and $307-million in the fiscal year after that. 

       Nebraska Chief Fiscal Analyst Tom Bergquist says the state is already $84-million above the August certified tax forecast and is likely to be $120-million ahead when October ends tomorrow. 

      Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement calling the forecast “a reflection of the resilience of Nebraskans and the strong economy they have built.” 

      Ricketts said the forecast sets Nebraska up to not only deliver on LB-1107, the new property tax relief and business tax incentive compromise signed into law earlier this year but to grow it in the future. 

      Not everyone interprets the numbers and LB-1107 the way the governor does. OpenSky Policy Institute Executive Director Renee Fry warns that lawmakers will likely have a shortfall to deal with next year instead of a surplus.

       Fry says LB 1107 contains a technicality that’s projected to make the bill’s programs cost more than anticipated, adding that the result is less money for key services such as schools and public safety with the situation only getting worse over time.