With the 2013 fiscal year coming to a close on June 30, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last week had to pull $17.7 million from the state’s Medicaid reserve funds to buoy the budget and keep the state in the black. That cut, plus $45 million cut from the income tax reserve and $28.3 million cut by the Legislature, helped the state avoid what would have otherwise been a $90 million year-end deficit.
As Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow told me for today’s paper, declines in severance tax collections was the No. 1 cause of that deficit. The state collected $409.7 million in severance taxes over the last year, although the state revenue department had predicted $461.5 million in collections.
Muchow predicts the state will be able to meet its goals in the 2014 fiscal year without any major adjustments, although the state is set to lose at least one reliable moneymaker: the food sales tax. The tax ended its eight-year phase out period on Monday, but that won’t affect revenue estimates, Muchow said. The Department of Revenue did not include the tax in its 2014 projections.
In other news…
- Nick Casey, a Democrat running for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito‘s longtime House seat, announced Monday he has $420,000 in campaign funds. Casey said has raised all of that funding since his campaign launched on April 30, although $300,000 came from his own pockets. (By the way, I have no idea how this race will turn out, but if Casey ends up losing this race I’m calling dibs right now on the “Casey strikes out” headline.)
- One of two state abortion clinics have responded to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey‘s request for information about their operations. Click here to read my blog post.