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Most state agencies asking for extensions to submit budget proposals to OMB

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

A number of North Dakota state agencies have asked for extensions on submitting their proposed budgets to the Office of Management and Budget for the 2019-2021 biennium.

"More than normal, I would say," OMB director Joe Morrissette told the Legislature's Budget Section.

Morrissette said part of the reason for the extensions is the extra “strategy review” sessions OMB has had with the agencies.

"Agencies waited until after their strategy review, to see how that would impact how they develop their budgets," Morrissette said. "We'll have to look at that time frame in the future."

Morrissette said if that process continues, the strategy reviews will probably take place a little bit earlier.

"The majority of budgets -- 62 out of 73 -- have been extended," Morrissette said.

In his budget guidelines to the agencies, Gov. Doug Burgum asked smaller agencies to cut five percent, and larger agencies to cut 10 percent. The Governor will give his executive budget to the Legislature in December.


Meanwhile, Morrissette told the Committee state revenue collections for the first fiscal year of the biennium are tracking very close to the forecast.

"They're about 3 percent over in total general fund collections, and about 1 percent over in sales tax," Morrissette said.

Sales tax is the biggest individual revenue source for the state's General Fund.

To date -- and these are preliminary numbers -- sales tax collections are at $829 million -- $10 million over forecast. For June, sales tax collections were $65 million, or $21 million above forecast.

Morrissette said the sales tax increases are coming from the oil patch, and not the retail sector. He says the four biggest retail cities -- Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot -- reported drops in sales tax collections.

"That's something we are going to be watching," Morrissette said.

But Morrissette said this is a good starting point for the upcoming August revenue forecast.

OMB's Revenue Advisory group will meet next week to start the work of preparing the August forecast.

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