Delaware’s latest revenue forecast shows flat figures, state calls for review

 (file/NewsWorks)

(file/NewsWorks)

Delaware budget writers won’t have much extra to work with as they help to prepare the governor’s fiscal year 2016 recommended budget.

The latest forecast from the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council predicts revenues at $3.885 billion for FY 2016.

Office of Management and Budget Director Ann Visalli said those figures will mean budget writers will need to be extra mindful with every appropriated dollar.

“I think as we go forward with the next budget, it’ll be similar to past years where were really looking at how to manage our cost increases in an environment of relatively flat revenues,” said Visalli.

The state is rounding out the fiscal year 2015 budget at $3.927 billion, a decrease of about $17 million forecasted during September’s DEFAC meeting.

DEFAC Chair Joshua Martin said Delaware’s revenue figures are not matching the state’s positive economic growth and announced plans for a task force to study the state’s revenue generators.

Martin explained that nearly 60 percent of the state’s main revenue sources, such as the lottery and franchise taxes are static and do not respond the changes in the state’s economy.

“This review will look at each revenue source in the state and analyze the volatility and elasticity as it pertains to the state and also the national economies,” he explained.

The group will be made up of members of the General Assembly, members of the state’s Executive Branch, and experts in the financial field.

Public hearings will begin in early 2015 and Martin said the group plans to finish the analysis and make recommendations to state leaders in the spring.

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