New House Budget Chair not sure if deficit can be avoided

A lawmaker in charge of finances isn’t sure if the state can avoid more cuts to programs.

Gov. Jay Nixon withheld $155 million in spending when tax collections fell short of expectations in the last fiscal year.

In the current year which started in July, the state’s projecting a four percent increase in collections, but admits there’ll need to be a rise of seven percent to avoid another shortfall.  Newly installed House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick (R-Shell Knob) is not optimistic about the outcome.

Fitzpatrick cautions that it’s too early to know how tax collections will pan out over the rest of the year.  If tax collections exceed estimates, it’s possible there’ll be enough money refill the cuts Governor Nixon made.  If collections fall short, those cuts could become permanent.

Fitzpatrick thinks the state will have a better handle on its finances by December when revenue estimates will be revised.

Read more: Missourinet

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