LINCOLN — Nebraska’s tax collection figures for April pose no immediate problem for the just-passed state budget package, according to two key lawmakers.
State Sen. John Stinner of Gering, the Appropriations Committee chairman, said the budget package already accounted for the April revenues. But he said state policymakers will have to keep an eye on future tax collections.
“I think it’s something to be watched from a trend basis,” he said.
Stinner commented after the Nebraska Department of Revenue released its monthly tax revenue report for April.
The report showed that the state collected $478 million in net tax revenues for April.
That total was $55.5 million — or 10.4 percent — less than the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board had predicted at the end of February.
The board updated its forecast at the end of April after looking at several factors, including Revenue Department calculations that April receipts would be $65.5 million less than the February predictions.
Even with those calculations, the board only lowered its earlier predictions for year-end tax revenues by $15 million. The budget was built around the April revenue forecast.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, however, raised concerns about the tax revenue totals reported Wednesday. He said those figures would weigh into his actions on the budget bills.
“I will be reviewing the budget in the coming days and will take appropriate action on the bills in light of this revenue shortfall,” he said.
But Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln, the Appropriations Committee vice chairwoman, said nothing in the report of actual tax revenues for April suggests that Nebraska will fall short of the new forecast.
The new forecast calls for year-end revenues of $4.3 billion. Net tax revenues for the first 10 months of the year were $3.46 billion — or 0.9 percent less than the February predictions.
Nebraska has May and June left in its current fiscal year.
The Revenue Department report compared actual tax collections with the February forecast.
State Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton said his staff has not yet done the calculations necessary to make comparisons with the April forecast.