By Derrick DePledge
The state Council on Revenues on Thursday downgraded the state's revenue forecast for the fiscal year that ended in June based on actual tax collections.
The new fiscal year 2014 forecast is minus 1.8 percent, down from a negative 0.4 percent in May, a difference of about $72 million.
The Abercrombie administration has been touting a $664.8 million budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year, but tax collections were off as the state's economic recovery slowed.
The council left its 5.5 percent growth estimate for fiscal year 2015 intact.
“As in the past, the state's financial management team is prepared to exert measured controls of the state's budget to ensure that programs are sustainable through any economic cycle. You will continue to see that exhibited in fiscal year 2015," Kalbert Young, the state's budget director, said in a statement.
“While the fiscal year 2014 revenue collection is down 1.8 percent compared to fiscal year 2013, revenue growth over a five-year period from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2014, has been substantial – about 21.7 percent. The council’s forecast shows revenue and economic growth of at least five percent a year for the next five years.”