Two economists advising Governor Peter Shumlin and Vermont lawmakers say a national economic downturn in the first quarter of this year is likely to blame for softer-than-expected state revenues.
Economists Jeff Carr and Tom Kavet say general economic conditions have hurt Vermont's collections of its personal income and sales-and-use taxes. The result is a downward revision in the forecast for revenue growth for the just-started fiscal year from 4.8 percent to 3 percent.
Shumlin is responding by asking state agencies to recommend cuts in their budgets averaging 4 percent. He says the overall revenue forecast is down about 2 percent, but he wants certain expenditures shielded from cuts.
Those include the state's debt repayments, support for public employee pensions and the general fund transfer to the education fund.
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