So far, state revenues are tracking very close to the December forecast

Jan 23, 2017

A new report shows state revenues tracking very close to the December state revenue forecast.

The numbers are running only about $171,000 behind forecast.

"Budget forecasting is always a tug-of-war between reality and fantasy," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I believe these preliminary numbers indicate reality won out."

Holmberg said when the December forecast was prepared, state lawmakers wanted to be on the conservative side when it came to tax collections.

"Now, on a $3.6 billion revenue forecast, we're only $171,000 off," Holmberg said in an interview. "That isn't bad, even for horseshes."

Holmberg said the revenue forecast in March will still tell the tale of state spending.

"I hope we're wrong," Holmberg said. "I hope the revenue comes in much higher. But the Legislature feels we have to be realistic. And this new revenue report is tracking very well on the forecast."