Administration still cautious about state revenues

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(Host) According to Administration Secretary Michael Smith, the state’s new revenue report shows that the Vermont economy is on the rebound. Still, Smith is being cautious about how the economy will perform in the next six months.

The state has recorded a nearly $22 million surplus over the first half of the fiscal year. Smith says the state’s major tax sources – the income tax, the sales tax and the rooms and meals tax – are all performing ahead of revised projections:

(Smith) “We are seeing a recovery in the economy and we’re seeing it on a national scale as well. We do see some consumer confidence coming from national reports and I think that eventually – either now or eventually – will be affecting us.”

(Host) Despite the good economic news, Smith is urging lawmakers not to start thinking about spending any of the money just yet.

(Smith) “We’ve had situations in the past where we’ve been up significantly in the first half of the year and then in March, April and May have seen significant slippage. This year we’re just cautious in terms of making sure that that doesn’t happen, because if you slip that much – slip into negative – it’s hard to make it up in one or two months in the fiscal year. So we’re always cautious about the big months that come down the pike in the spring.”

(Host) The governor, legislative leaders and the state economist will meet next week to consider making further revisions to the state’s revenue forecast for the rest of the fiscal year.

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