West Virginia Public Broadcasting – West Virginia’s annual budget is based on revenue estimates that come from the governor’s office. The budget surplus comes from taxes collected above those revenue estimates. How those estimated amounts are determined garners differing points of view.
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Sean O’Leary is the senior policy analyst at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. He said when the Justice administration pointed out that this April’s general revenue collection beat the estimate by $319 million, the base budget estimate of $509 million was $284 million below last year’s actual collections of $791 million. O’ Leary called the surplus ”smoke and mirrors.”
“You’d have to assume that the governor and the budget office thought that the economy was going to collapse,” O’Leary said. “So these revenue estimates were set intentionally low in order to keep the budget low, and to generate these large surpluses.”
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