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.