Ask the Governor if you don’t pay your bills but have money in hand at the end of the month if that’s a surplus. His answer must be “yes” because that’s how he’s claiming a state budget surplus. Better yet, the improving economy “that isn’t” helped exaggerate the “surplus.”
Finance Secretary Richard D. Brown announced that June revenue figures show a larger-than-expected year-end balance resulting mostly from collections of individual and corporate income taxes. That would mean that the economy is strengthening, although there was an accounting slight of hand on sales tax collections from businesses too. That administration trick on its own cannot fully explain the increase in corporate income tax receipts. The remainder of the 25% increase in collections year over year can only be explained by more robust economic conditions.
It is a tough position to be in. The only authentic good news in this story is on the economy. That would not serve political purposes, so this is the way the story turns, completely ignoring unfunded obligations and any other nasty things called facts.