WARD LOOKS TO STATE’S ECONOMIC FUTURE WITH CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM
For immediate release, December 29, 2010
Representative Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai – Kalama Valley) tonight expressed cautious optimism about the State of Hawai'i’s economic future today following the Council on Revenues' announcement of a projected $44 million increase in general-fund revenues for this fiscal year.
“The Council on Revenues' projected increase will certainly help the state close this year’s budget gap and take a little of the pressure off the state budget in coming years. By ensuring we maintain fiscal restraint and place further emphasis on stimulating our small businesses, we have a very strong case that damaging tax increases will be unnecessary,” Ward said.
Prior to today’s announcement, the state faced a $71 million deficit through June, 2011. The additional $44 million will not only impact the shortfall in the current budget, but it will likely reduce the $772 million deficit the state is facing in 2012-2013. However, this increase will still leave the State of Hawai'i with a substantial gap the legislature will have work through this session.
“While I am encouraged by this 1% increase, we are still facing a budget crisis that the Governor, the Legislature and the people of Hawai'i will have to work hard to overcome. There are many tough choices ahead of us, but I know we will have to be fiscally responsible and make tough choices that will help us build a sustainable economy. While we have a stronger outlook, the current economic crisis is not over,” Ward said.
Governor Abercrombie Remains Focused on Economic Recovery (Not Birthers?)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 29, 2010
HONOLULU – The State Council on Revenues today announced an increase in the projection for collective tax revenue growth for fiscal year 2011 from 2% to 3% or $43.6 million. Governor Neil Abercrombie this evening acknowledged the projected growth by reaffirming his Administration’s efforts towards economic recovery.
“Today’s projections by the Council on Revenues do not lessen the financial hardships that our families and businesses face right now,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This Administration will remain focused on economic recovery by creating jobs and restoring government services. We will achieve this by working together with lawmakers, business and community leaders.”
In order for the 3% rate of growth to be actualized in the current fiscal year, revenues must reflect a 7% rate of growth for the remaining 7 months in the fiscal year.
Interim Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young added, “The Council on Revenues' advisement is a positive sign that the overall State economy is rebounding. We must remain cautiously optimistic and hope that these initial signs are improvements that will be sustained in the longer term. The State still has significant challenges and issues to deal with in the near term and very significant fiscal and financial problems to address in the longer term.”
(Aoki and Asselbaye must be back from vacation and are cleaning up the birther mess created by Abercrombie during their absence.)
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CB: Council on Revenues Projects $44M Revenue Boost This Year
While the council's revised estimate for the current year might be welcome news, Civil Beat found earlier this year that the group is rarely on target and when it's off it's always too optimistic.
SA: Increase in state revenue forecast means additional $44 million
The new forecast estimates that the state will have an additional $44 million in tax revenue in the next six months. The Abercrombie administration has projected a $71 million deficit for the fiscal year, so the new forecast could reduce the gap.
The council left the forecast at 10 percent for fiscal year 2012 and six percent for fiscal year 2013. The administration has projected a $772 million deficit over the two-year budget cycle. The higher revenue expected this fiscal year raises the revenue base for the following two years, so the deficit would likely be reduced.
RELATED: $772M short: Abercrombie submits two-year budget, blames Lingle, tells Legislature to fix it
MORE: 2011 Legislative Agenda: ERS benefits to be slashed, “all eligible members to retire”