Louisiana revenue forecast improves, however doesn't shut hole

BATON ROUGE- Louisiana’s income projections have improved, but state officials were tempered in their excitement about the brightened forecast because a nearly $1 billion budget gap still looms next year.

The Revenue Estimating Conference, which sets state income forecasts, increased revenue projections by $153 million for the current financial year that ends June 30. Next year’s forecast was boosted by nearly $234 million.

The improvements were largely driven by better-than-expected sales tax collections.

That’s not enough to dig Louisiana out of the looming hole that hits when the new financial year begins July 1, as temporary sales taxes expire. Even with Thursday’s revisions, general state tax collections are expected to shrink by $994 million that year.

Senate President John Alario said it’s not time to “go out and break the champagne bottle.”

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