La. income forecast grows, giving lawmakers more to spend

Louisiana News

Economist Stephen Barnes, left, and Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, both members of the Revenue Estimating Conference, review income projections ahead of the conference’s meeting Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. The conference increased the income forecast for the current and upcoming budget years, giving lawmakers more money to spend. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s budget picture has brightened again. The state’s income forecasting panel estimated Tuesday that $677 million in tax collections above expectations should flow into the treasury over the next 14 months.

The Revenue Estimating Conference increased the estimate for general state tax collections in the current budget year that ends June 30 by $357 million.

The panel also increased the general fund forecast for the upcoming budget year that begins July 1 by $320 million.

Those dollars aren’t currently included in the budget being crafted by lawmakers.

Suggestions for spending the money range from increased teacher pay raises and more dollars for early childhood education to paying down state debts.

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