BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s budget surplus has edged up to nearly $535 million.
That’s the precise number presented to the joint House and Senate budget committee Friday, after accountants confirmed the figure. Previous estimates were pegged around $500 million.
Financial analysts say most of the unspent cash from the budget year that ended June 30 comes from better-than-expected personal income and business tax collections, mainly tied to federal tax changes.
Because Louisiana links tax deductions to federal income taxes, the drop in federal tax liabilities means Louisiana taxpayers and businesses owed more to the state.
About $134 million of the surplus is earmarked to the state’s “rainy day” fund, while another $53 million must pay down retirement debt. Lawmakers will spend the remaining $348 million on one-time expenses in the 2020 legislative session.