Amid downturn, hint of optimism in Wyoming revenue report
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming’s latest state revenue forecast contains hints of optimism but still predicts far less money coming in than was the case just a few years ago, before a downturn in fossil-fuel markets.
The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group releases nonpartisan revenue forecasts every October and January. Wyoming officials pay close attention to the reports amid a sharp decline in revenue from taxes and royalties on coal, oil and natural gas development.
The latest report predicts revenue for the 2017-18 biennium will reach nearly $2.24 billion, or $195 million more than CREG predicted in January would be the case. Even so, that would be almost 20 percent less revenue than in 2013-14, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.
“It’s a slight reversal to a more stable or slightly improving outlook for the state,” said Wyoming Economic Analysis Division Administrator Alex Kean.
The minerals industry provides more than 70 percent of Wyoming’s revenue.
The current revenue scenario is similar to fiscal year 2009-2010, when Wyoming was experiencing the effects of the Great Recession, Kean said.
“We’re still quite a ways off, but maybe this is slightly more positive,” he said.
Revenue should tick back upward by about 2.7 percent, or $26.6 million, a year in 2019 and 2020, according to the report.
The report will help Gov. Matt Mead make recommendations for the upcoming budget, which he plans to release in December. Lawmakers will convene in January to adopt a budget for the 2019-20 biennium.
Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com