01 February 2010

Midyear Budget Cuts Still Planned for W.Va.

The Manchin adminstration is pressing ahead with plans to cut 3.4 percent from current general revenue spending for most of state government, The Associated Press reports.

Officials say "agencies and programs all responded to Manchin's call to trim their budgets by the Jan. 20 deadline," the article said. "The state Revenue Department continues to sort through the replies. But officials estimate they will cut enough to offset a projected $120 million shortfall in general tax collections."

The continuing effects of the recession had prompted Manchin's office to project the deficit threat and order the cuts in late December. It's sticking with its forecast, despite "some good news over the weekend," AP reports. "For the fourth month in a row, general revenues beat expectations."

"Officials had estimated the state would collect nearly $296 million in January, but Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow on Friday estimated the final amount will come in around $37 million higher," the article said. "But despite the consecutive months of robust revenues, Muchow still predicts collections will fall shy of the $3.7 billion target by the time the budget year ends June 30."

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