State revenues are expected to be $116 million higher this fiscal year than projected in December, according to legislative economists. When coupled with cuts and actions already taken by the legislature to balance the budget this session, the state is projected to end the current fiscal year with a $447 million surplus. By law, these funds will be transferred to the State Education Fund.
Legislative economists expect revenues to be $99 million higher in fiscal year 2011-12, which will help to reduce the projected shortfall.
The Legislative Council staff's June economic forecast, released last week, shows Colorado continuing "to suffer through one of its worst downturns in over 50 years." Unemployment reached a two-decade high – Colorado's rate was 7.6 percent in May – and the council's economists expect things to worsen. Their forecast shows the average unemployment rate rising to 9.6 percent in 2010.
State revenues will fall about $250 million short of appropriations for the fiscal year that ends next week, according testimony today by state economists before the Joint Budget Committee. Estimates from the economists are worse than their projections in March and show that the state's economy was weaker than anticipated in the second quarter.
The most recent quarterly revenue estimates by state economists were released on Dec. 12. While there are considerable differences between the two sets of numbers, both estimates project a drop in state revenues since the beginning of the fiscal year.
State economists released quarterly estimates for state revenues on Wednesday. The Legislative Council staff and the governor????????s Office of State Planning and Budgeting see continued growth in Colorado????????s economy. Both agencies project the state will retain more revenue in the current fiscal year than they estimated in March.