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WV tax revenue down again; deficit prediction rises

BECKLEY, W.Va. — As state officials are in the throes of budget planning for 2017, the current fiscal year’s budget is crumbling at a steady rate. State revenue lags nearly $158 million and the year could end with a deficit of $353 million, Secretary of Revenue Bob Kiss said Wednesday.

Actual collections for the month are at $335.1 million, nearly $43.5 million below estimates.

 Kiss said he and his staff are working closely with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, and have been for the past several months. Tomblin, who was chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee for several years before becoming Senate president and then governor, has an “extensive background” in fiscal procedures, Kiss noted.

Kiss would not be specific about the plan, which will be unveiled next week, but said the “easy thing to do would be to say somebody else can deal with this next year.”

“He’s not going to do that,” Kiss said. He said the plan involves “ some difficult decisions, (but) will make sense. You are also going to see a plan which continues a strong commitment to the preservation of what we’ve spent half a generation trying to protect, the Rainy Day Fund.

“It’s a courageous and responsible plan,” Kiss said.

Kiss said Tomblin will announce the plan next week…


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