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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 5:07 p.m., Monday, March 6, 2006

Revenue forecast higher this year, lower next year

Advertiser Staff

The state Council on Revenues has increased its revenue forecast for the fiscal year, predicting higher growth that could increase the state's $574 million budget surplus.

The council today projected 9.5 percent revenue growth for the fiscal year that ends in June, up from 8.0 percent. But the council lowered its forecast for the next fiscal year — to 6.5 percent from 7.5 percent — to account for one-time windfalls such as higher than anticipated delinquent tax collections that have pushed revenues higher over the past year.

The forecast could increase pressure on state lawmakers to approve tax relief this session. Gov. Linda Lingle and some lawmakers have said some of the surplus should go toward tax relief, and the improved forecast could strengthen their argument.