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Council on Revenues forecast remains unchanged

The Council on Revenues on Thursday, March 11 kept the state’s revenue forecast for the current fiscal year at a 2.5 percent decline. The council also reduced the forecast for the fiscal year that begins July 1 to 6 percent growth, down from 7.6 percent growth. That means a $48 million loss for the state.

Following the announcement Gov. Linda Lingle made the following statement:

“The Council on Revenues’ stable revenue projection is a reflection of the efforts we have undertaken over the past year-and-a-half to address the impact the global and national recession has had on the State’s revenue outlook.

“These measures have included working with the building industry to implement a comprehensive capital improvement plan to accelerate public construction projects, coordinating with the tourism sector to increase visitor marketing and outreach, as well as passing legislation last year to advance the payment of general excise taxes and certain other taxes.

“In addition, we have worked to obtain federal stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). That kept us from suffering larger cuts to education and healthcare for the poor, and created some construction jobs.

“The Council’s projections also reflect promising signs that the economy is starting to stabilize. The visitor industry outlook in particular is expected to improve due to increased air seats, aggressive marketing campaigns and improving global economic conditions.

“While there is reason to be optimistic, we also need to be realistic and accept the fact that actual revenues are still significantly lower than earlier projected, and it will take several years before general fund revenues return to pre-recession levels.

“For this reason, the focus of our entire state must be on job creation. The fact is, we cannot successfully revive our economy unless our residents get back to work. My Administration is working with the Legislature to pass laws that will help businesses create new jobs, while also ensuring that any legislation that would hinder job creation does not pass.”

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