State budget is on hold until April 20

April 14, 2009 

The Senate was in a rush to adopt their draft of the state budget.

Now the document is on hold while the House waits for updated tax revenue numbers. The numbers will be based on what the state Revenue Department sees by the April 15 income tax filing deadline.

Rep. Mickey Michaux, the chief House budget writer said the numbers should be available by April 20. It's only then, he said, that the House can start to put a budget together.

"We're not going to do anything until we get the numbers," said Michaux, a Durham Democrat.

Income tax returns accounted for $11.4 billion or 54 percent of state revenue in the current budget.

The recession has made predicting revenue a difficult task for analysts. Michaux said the Senate's assumptions about revenue won't likely hold up after April 15.

"In my book, they didn't have to rush," Michaux said last week.

The state has to have a balanced budget. That means, lawmakers can only plan to spend what they believe they will collect. Michaux said he fears that those numbers could push the state's deficit to more than $4 billion. The Senate's budget, like Gov. Beverly Perdue's assumed a $3 billion deficit.

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