Despite accounting mistakes and unforeseen disaster relief expenses, state government is closing the 2012 budget with another surplus. Originally, the budgetary surplus was $83 million. Now it's almost halved to $45 million.
State Budget Director Mary Lassiter informed lawmakers of the surplus at an interim committee meeting today. And she says the remaining surplus will be put into the legislature’s savings account.
“We will be designating all of the $45.7 million in surplus to the General Fund Surplus account, primarily for the purpose of necessary governmental expenses,” she says.
Such necessary expenses would include disaster relief funds, activation of the state National Guard or more accounting mistakes.
Lassiter says this year's extra state revenue came from good performance from the state’s biggest taxes.
“Where those differences jump out at you, both the sales tax and individual income tax (are) a little better than planned. Business taxes (are) a little better than planned. And areas where we have concern is the coal severance tax,” she says
The road fund also saw a significant surplus, which could allow for lower priority road projects to get started earlier than expected.