Vt revenues seen on the upswingBy LISA RATHKE
The Associated Press | July 24,2013MONTPELIER — Vermont’s revenue forecast is showing a slight improvement, with general fund and transportation fund collections expected to be up in fiscal year 2014, two consulting economists said Tuesday.
The economists said they expect a slight increase from their January forecast of 0.3 percent in the general fund to $4 million for the fiscal year and a 7.4 percent increase in the transportation fund to $17.2 million, primarily from the recent change in the gas tax. But the economists predicted a slight decrease in the education fund — a modest $500,000 drop.
Economist Thomas Kavet said the state ended the last fiscal year 1.5 percent above expectations, which is a plus, but that the economic recovery has been slow.
“At this stage of this business cycle we’d usually be looking at a much more vigorous recovery,” he said. “We’d normally be having accelerating rates of growth, and we’re not. And the reason is the headwinds that exist from federal fiscal policy.”
Kavet added, “So we’ve got on the one hand monetary policy that’s just full blast — you know, interest rates as low as they could possibly be — and now we’ve fiscal policy that’s doing the opposite, that’s weighing on things and holding things back.”
The 410 layoffs at IBM in Vermont last month haven’t been factored into the data, but they “will likely only postpone Vermont’s full labor market recovery by a few months from what had looked to be ‘on course’ for a completion sometime later during the calendar year,” said a report from Jeffrey Carr of Economic and Policy Resources Inc. of Williston.
“The only redeeming aspect to the IBM layoffs is that they come at a time when the Vermont economy is in its best position — with a general upward trajectory to its labor markets — to absorb any displaced workers,” compared with four to five years ago, he said.
Vermont’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than the jobless rate in the U.S. and the lowest in New England for 24 consecutive months, Kavet’s report said.
Vermont’s rooms and meals revenues also benefited from a strong ski season, with snowfall during key holidays and snowstorms in core markets of southern New England and mid-Atlantic states.
Gov. Peter Shumlin said Vermont is on the right track.
“We just got to keep on doing what we’re doing and grow jobs,” he said.MORE IN Vermont News
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Two fires, one in West Rutland in which a dog and cat are rescued by heroic passersby and the other in Middletown Springs, keep firefighters busy, sports and update on robbery at Jenny Wren's in Springfield.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Bob Dylan makes $50 bucks playing harmonica on Belafonte record, William Butler Yeats on the 1916 Easter Rising, Polanski leaves Los Angeles (in a hurry), iceberg six times Manhattan size leaves Antarctica (at leisurely pace.)
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: First televised nuclear test, Woody Harrelson's father claimed involvement in the JFK assassination, Immanuel Kant and William L. Shirer rave on and MIT researchers propose sea-borne nuclear power stations.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Accused child killer released on bail, protesters want him back behind bars, aldermen meet to vote on mayor's board nomination, 156 Vermont runners participate in Monday's Boston Marathon.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Soil beneath Greenland ice sheet predates dawn of mankind, Hitch faces true Hollawood problem head-on, Mark Twain on school boards, all in today's minute.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Free Library director Paula Baker will retire at the end of the year, state Senate will vote on new minimum wage legislation and Bennington College graduates win Pulitzer Prizes.