Delaware revenue estimates fall

Delaware is looking at a decrease in revenue of about $98.4 million for the current fiscal year and for 2013, a state panel announced Monday.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council decreased its estimate for 2012 by $43.4 million and another $55 million for the fiscal year starting next July 1.

It’s the panel’s first meeting since lawmakers approved a $3.5 billion budget for the new fiscal year that started July 1.

“The economic outlook since June 30 has changed dramatically,” said Finance Secretary Tom Cook. “And we’re factoring that into this.”

The biggest losses are expected to come from declines in personal income taxes ($10.5 million in 2012, $13.7 million in 2013), corporate franchise taxes ($8 million in 2012, $8.1 million in 2013), corporate income taxes ($10 million in 2012, $10.5 million in 2013) and the lottery ($10 million in 2012, $11.3 million in 2013).

The loss represents a 1.4 percent overall decrease in projected revenue, but Cook says it’s not nearly as bad as it’s been in recent years.

“It’s not a recessionary-type projection,” he said. “But the revenues are down. It’s a tough budget year coming up; we have to stay fiscally responsible.”

State budget officials will factor in these new figures when they begin meeting with representatives of various state agencies in November to discuss agency budgets for next fiscal year.

The projections are quite a contrast from last spring when DEFAC discovered about $340 million in revenue increases. Cook says that revenue should help moving forward.

“We took a lot of the money and invested it in jobs and job creation,” he said. “So, we’re hoping that starts to pay off as we get into the springtime.”

The next DEFAC meeting is scheduled for December.

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