La. budget shortfall for this year $70M after tax increases
BATON ROUGE - A final tally of the tax hikes passed by lawmakers shows a gap of nearly $70 million remains to be closed in the next three months.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and lawmakers had thought the shortfall for the budget year that ends June 30 was about $20 million smaller. But last-minute changes made to tax bills by lawmakers lessened their impact for this year.
The bad news was delivered Wednesday to the state income forecasting panel, the Revenue Estimating Conference, which updated its forecasts to reflect the tax increases.
Edwards' chief financial adviser Jay Dardenne said the administration will start levying cuts soon to rebalance the budget.
The administration had hoped to spare colleges and health services from additional reductions, but Dardenne said that's unlikely with the larger-than-expected shortfall.
The state's budget deficit will be $750 million for next year.