State budgets expect predict modest growth in Iowa tax revenues

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DES MOINES, Iowa — A panel of state budget experts on Thursday predicted modest growth in Iowa's tax revenue for the current fiscal year.

The Revenue Estimating Conference met to project state revenue. The group predicts net state revenue — made up of taxes and other sources — will come in at just over $6.7 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That represents a 6.7 percent increase over the previous year and the growth is expected to continue.

The three-member panel includes Department of Management director David Roederer, Legislative Services Agency director Holly Lyons and an independent member, Mason City economist David Underwood. They said Iowa's economy is stable and growing, noting job gains and rising home prices as positive signs.

Still they stressed that there are risks for the state, including that prices for corn and soybeans have dropped, which affects Iowa farmers. They also said that global tumult could impact the world economy.

"There seem to be more trouble spots than there have been in some time," said Roederer.

The numbers discussed at the meeting do not have any bearing on the state budget process. The panel will meet again in December to set the revenue projection that the governor must use to craft the next state budget.

The Revenue Estimating Conferences was created during budget reforms in the 1990s, and is designed to force the governor, Legislature and an independent economist to all agree on how much the state will collect in taxes and use that as a base for a new state budget.

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