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Louisiana’s revenue forecast brightens amid rain plaguing state

(WAFB)
Published: May. 18, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As parts of south Louisiana recovered from heavy rains, flooding, and tornadoes and braced for the possibility of more rain, members of Louisiana’s Revenue Estimating Conference offered up a bright forecast for state revenue on Tuesday, May 18.

The four-member panel told the Associated Press Tuesday, it predicts the state will collect an estimated $677 million in additional tax collections than previously expected over the next 14 months.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, state Senate President Page Cortez, state House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, and independent economist Stephen Barnes make up the revenue estimating panel.

The panel said it believes the state will collect an additional $357 million in tax revenue for the current budget year that ends on June 30. It also believes Louisiana will collect an additional $320 million during the new budget year which begins on July 1.

News of the unexpected additional revenue for the state comes as it is flush with federal dollars from coronavirus relief packages.

The new estimates of revenue are not currently included in ongoing budget talks in the Senate but will be added in the coming days.

Lawmakers tell the Associated Press there are many ideas on how to spend the extra revenue including paying some of the state’s debts, allocating more funding to early childhood education programs, or pay raises for Louisiana’s teachers.

“I don’t think there will be any shortage of suggestions for how to spend the money,” Dardenne told the Associated Press.

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