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State hit with $180M loss in projected revenue

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 05:38 p.m. HST, Mar 11, 2014

The state Council on Revenues on Tuesday significantly downgraded the state's revenue forecast, which will likely handcuff state lawmakers as they are drafting the budget.

The council projected zero percent growth for the fiscal year that ends in June, down from 3.3 percent growth in January, a $180 million loss for the state. The council also reduced the projection for fiscal year 2015 to 5.5 percent growth, down from 7.4 percent, another $100 million loss.

Compounded, the new forecast leaves the state with $478 million less to spend next fiscal year, eating through the state's $844 million surplus.

Actual state tax collections through February are down 1.1 percent over last year. The council downgraded the forecast after determining that revenues would not catch up during the final four months of the fiscal year.

The state House is expected to pass its draft of the $12.1 billion budget on Wednesday, which is about $53 million less than Gov. Neil Abercrombie requested. The budget will then move to the Senate, where the Senate Ways and Means Committee will prepare a Senate draft.

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Grimbold wrote:
The state lawmakers should be handcuffed all the time. Profligate spending for unneeded stuff abounds.
on March 11,2014 | 05:36PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Construction will probably be the only bright economic area in the State. You can see reductions In visitors and probably cuts in the military and federal budgets. Hawaii does not have much choices to improve its economic growth. How about the South Hilo/Puna FTZ? And, how about mini-nuclear plants for each island? Next four years will be very slow.
on March 11,2014 | 05:53PM
localguy wrote:
One of the most important rules of personal finance to be successful is to always live beneath your means. That said, it is a point ever elected bureaucrat willfully fails to follow, ensuring government budgets are never met, deficit spending. Prime reason for the Nei being billions of dollars in debt, bureaucrats haven't got a clue they are the problem. Just another day in the Nei.
on March 11,2014 | 06:03PM
aionokea43 wrote:
State departments are spending money foolishly this fiscal year which the council of revenues project a $180M loss. Each State department should be put on a FREEZE for any expenditure other than payroll. No more furniture purchases, renovation of offices, new equipment, the whole 9 nine yards. Typical government spending wasting taxpayers funds. The tax department is not collecting as much, tourism visits and spending are down, so BUTTOM DOWN THE HATCH for all State departments effective immediately. The State cannot go into a deficit by law.
on March 11,2014 | 06:09PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
i disagree on the new equipment..the state does need to purchase new vehicles and get rid of those that are 20 years or older
on March 11,2014 | 07:13PM
localguy wrote:
If the state has any vehicles older than 20 years, this is a problem. Most state vehicles will not last that long, not well maintained, poorly operated. Typical for the Nei.
on March 11,2014 | 07:38PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
local, any stats to prove what you say, or are you just mouthing off?
on March 11,2014 | 08:30PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
we have lots of vehicles over 20 years..it is a problem..always breaking down
on March 11,2014 | 10:40PM
Wazdat wrote:
you must work for the state ?
on March 12,2014 | 01:03AM
nssanes wrote:
Unless the unemployed homeless drunks and active drug users are removed from squatting on the the beach rest areas and bus stops - especially in Waikiki, we cannot expect to keep our tourists coming. These people save their income for the privilege of coming here. Can't we make room for them?
on March 11,2014 | 06:17PM
copperwire9 wrote:
You are truly pathetic, and horribly unpleasant. And absurdly wrong. Now, I'm just guessing, all that really pleases you, doesn't it?
on March 11,2014 | 11:45PM
SteveToo wrote:
So glad the President keeps telling us how the nation's economy is improving. What is happening in his "home" State?
on March 11,2014 | 06:20PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Yes, SteveToo, and the anti-GMO gang on Kauai and Hawaii only places more pressure on economic growth. Pres. Obama will continue to vacation in Hawaii and golf at the Marine Base because he is now in the 1% crowd. Don't understand why others can't see what he and the mrs. are doing with our tax dollars. We gotta pray the Governor does not drag Hawaii down like Detroit.
on March 11,2014 | 06:38PM
Charliegrunt wrote:
HI is his home state only when the taxpayers and Democratic Party are paying for his and his family's vacations. Otherwise, IL is his home state and Chicago is his home town. For all of you who are so grateful for his visits, check with Chief Kealaoha and ask him if the Secret Service has reimbursed HPD for all that was spent on overtime for cancelled vacations and days off to back them up. As for using the Marine Base, think about him taking over the gym, which is used by those on active duty to keep fit, and rehabilitation for wounded warriors from current and past wars.
on March 12,2014 | 08:36AM
sailfish1 wrote:
They better save some of that 844 million surplus for next year and even the year after that. They then have to start cutting government costs because revenues are going to keep going down. People are getting tired of visiting Hawaii and seeing concrete and steel everywhere, traffic congestion, crowded beaches, excessive costs for everything, and homeless people everywhere.
on March 11,2014 | 06:22PM
localguy wrote:
Want to bet the union bosses have already told their puppet bureaucrats the surplus is already pledged for much needed and long over due union pay raises? Will be gone in a heart beat.
on March 11,2014 | 07:45PM
wn wrote:
I wish that the State would call their "revenue" what it is ... "tax and fees". If they opt to call it revenue, then let the government run under a business model. Thinking out loud. Let's start privatizing some of the services (I believe several counties in CA has been successful implementing). Also offer a buy out of those on State retirement program and have employees take it upon themselves to self direct and be responsible for their own retirement versus a State funded guarantee pension. Maybe this is foo forward thinking.
on March 11,2014 | 06:27PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
almost no one in the state relies on just government pension alone..you wouldn't be able to afford to live here when you retire
on March 11,2014 | 07:16PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
hanabata, most government pensioners earn both SS benefits also.However, older federal pensioners DO rely on their government pensions without much SS benefits. Therefore, you are incorrect.And of course, substantial savings and investments allow you to be able to live comfortably in an expensive paradise..Retirees from the private sector don't have the luxury of a pension.
on March 11,2014 | 08:39PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
federal pensioners get paid a whole lot more..so it's easy for them to retire..unlike state and county retirees who have to rely on other investments
on March 11,2014 | 10:42PM
localguy wrote:
Sandy Springs privatized most services, hit the jackpot. Then again, they didn't have to contend with all the incestuous family relationships we have here. Easier to get honest bids from other companies on the mainland than here. Remember our school bus contract fiasco. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/business/a-georgia-town-takes-the-peoples-business-private.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
on March 11,2014 | 07:42PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
local, incest is not a synonymn for nepotism or cronyism.
on March 11,2014 | 08:41PM
kainalu wrote:
That's why it's taking so long to receive my tax return - no mo money.
on March 11,2014 | 06:45PM
localguy wrote:
Waiting for enough bottles to be recycled to make your payment.
on March 11,2014 | 07:43PM
Maipono wrote:
What? The Guv said the economy is booming! How could this be? Oh well, we have lots of people who practice ainokea, and one party rule, so let's just continue voting for the Dems Hawaii, and continue our downward spiral, why stop now?
on March 11,2014 | 06:50PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The council projected zero percent growth for the fiscal year that ends in June, down from 3.3 percent growth in January, a $180 million loss for the state.

Holy smokes. Somebody at the council needs a little re-calibration. That there is what we call a massive F up.

on March 11,2014 | 06:54PM
localguy wrote:
State bureaucrats handcuffed together? K i n k y. hehehe
on March 11,2014 | 07:46PM
HOSSANA wrote:
Postpone the prekindergarten expense as its nothing but a babysitting venture anyway and the families should be responsible for their own costs in sending child to a preschool and, what makes it worse, governor wants to subsidize not only public but pvt. schools as well...talking about pre-schools....ridiculous...governor likes to throw monies for his own political purposes....
on March 11,2014 | 07:58PM
soundofreason wrote:
So THAT'S how they're going to blow through the surplus. Commit it to overspending due to overly optimistic goals.
on March 11,2014 | 08:46PM
cwo4usn wrote:
Did anyone actually see the surplus? Was the surplus showing on the books? Or, was it creative bookkeeping by the Governor's office? Oh, that's right. It's election year! You got to admit both the current State and Federal Administrations are good at number munipulation.
on March 12,2014 | 06:13AM
ISCREAM wrote:
No surprise here...Obamacare sucks money out of the pockets of people who can afford to come to Hawaii...and now don't.
on March 11,2014 | 08:56PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
We have never in history had as many tourists as we do now. And they are spending more money than any other tourists have. In fact, at the moment, they are spending at the rate of $42,000,000.00 per day, 365 days a year.
on March 11,2014 | 09:40PM
bigislandkurt wrote:
Legalize it. Don't criticize it.
on March 11,2014 | 10:01PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
rajah dat
on March 11,2014 | 10:44PM
Brixac3 wrote:
The Neil's ad implies that he was responsible for a budget surplus. It turns out that we have a deficit. Since he said their was a budget deficit before I got into office, he was taking credit for the current budget. 1) Neil is either not telling the truth or 2) he doesn't know the right answer or 3) the facts may have changed. In any event, Neil owns it. I hope voters are paying attention. If history is any indication of the future, many will continue to vote without critical evaluating the record.
on March 11,2014 | 10:06PM
Skyler wrote:
That enchilada pie-in-the-sky $844 million 'surplus' ain't nothing but a soggy taco, sorry Guv.
on March 11,2014 | 10:22PM
Wazdat wrote:
CUT the fat and stop the excess spending. Just like very household has to do. SIMPLE
on March 12,2014 | 01:02AM
4Nothin wrote:
What happened to the commercial about a month ago where the governor was smiling as he said there is now a surplus of money?
on March 12,2014 | 10:03AM
coki wrote:
Ambercrumbie is full of LIES! What happened to our millions of dollars in surplus??? Plus, where is all the revenue from SB1. I lose faith in our pathetic liberal Democratic Party. Waste of time and waste of my tax dollars. Get this joker out of office!
on March 12,2014 | 09:13PM
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