From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Withholdings unlikely to be released

November 6, 2003
By: Zachary Ottenstein
State Capital Bureau

Funding starved schools throughout the state are threatening to cut teaching positions, but don't expect relief to come from the state Capitol. Zack Ottenstein reports from Jefferson City.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

According to state revenue reports, the upswing in the Missouri economy stalled last month.

And now, some figures indicate there is little hope that state programs will receive any relief.

Net revenue decreased in October, despite promising increases in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.

Overall, net revenues in the state are up about 5 percent.

However, Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the figure is inflated because last year the state paid out tax refunds that had been carried over from 2002.

Depressing last year's budget figures and Luebbering says inflating this year's.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue: hzoLuebbering1.wav
Contents: Luebbering says when you compare refunds it looks like refunds are $60 million less in 2004, but that is because the state carried over from the previous year.

Luebbering says that this early into the fiscal year $60 million is more than a drop in the bucket.

Disregarding refunds, gross collections are up slightly less than 2 percent.

However, that number is below what the legislature assumed in this year's budget.

And Luebbering says that's why the outlook is bleak for struggling state programs.

Actuality:
RunTime: hzoLuebbering2.wav
OutCue: 6 sec.
Contents: Luebbering says schools should not count on receiving any withholdings.

Luebbering says it is highly unlikely that the state revenue will grow in the manner necessary to hit the fiscal year's assumed growth rate.

But, House Budget Chairman Carl Bearden disagrees.

He believes the state's economic growth is not as inflated as Luebbering.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue: hzoBearden1.wav
Contents: Bearden says he believes the numbers are indicative of a recovering economy.

The governor will not make any decisions about releasing withholdings until December, when more information is available.

From the State Capitol, I'm Zack Ottenstein.