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Missouri officials anticipate record revenues in coming year

Despite the pandemic, Missouri revenues have never been higher. Gov. Mike Parson and legislative budget leaders released estimates for revenue in the year that begins July 1, 2022, showing revenues are expected to total $11.4 billion. That strong growth and the arrival of federal COVID-19 recovery funds puts the state in its strongest financial position in history.

“With general revenue expected to increase and large amounts of Missouri’s federal tax dollars returning to our state, we have a great opportunity and responsibility to make smart, meaningful investments that serve Missourians now and into the future,” Parson said.

At the end of November, the general revenue balance in the state treasury stood at $2.5 billion, or eight times larger than the average balances from 2013 through 2019. The balance should continue to grow, because current spending is based on an estimate made a year ago that has proved to be far lower than actual receipts. The consensus revenue estimate, used by Parson and the General Assembly to guide budget decisions, anticipates revenues will decline 0.5 percent in the current fiscal year and grow by 2.1 percent in the coming year.

Lawmakers have heard testimony about a long wish list of building projects. Colleges and universities last month asked for $435 million for labs, classrooms and athletic facilities. In April, lawmakers heard from local governments and other agencies requesting that included $88 million for a new training academy for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

When the current year’s budget was written, revenue for fiscal 2021 was expected to total $10.2 billion and then decline to $9.8 billion in the current year. Instead, revenue for fiscal 2021 totaled $11.2 billion and the new estimate is for revenue in the current year to top $11.1 billion. Those aren’t the only funds available. The state is holding $1.34 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, passed in March, with another $1.34 billion on the way.

House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, said they agreed with the estimate for record revenue.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice