Alabama starts 2014 budget year ahead of 2013 pace - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Alabama starts 2014 budget year ahead of 2013 pace

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama tax collections were up to end the 2013 fiscal year according to statistics provided by the Alabama Department of Revenue. 

The biggest revenue sources for the Education Trust Fund budget were up, as well as some modest growth for revenues that provide funding for the General Fund.

Income taxes collections increased by $215 million, up by 6% compared to the year before.

"The 2014 budget is looking good," said Senate Education Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Trip Pittman, (R - Daphne.) "It puts us in a good position to be able to pay off the moneys we owe."

Pittman referred to the Rainy Day Account which the Democratic controlled legislature in 2009 approved borrowing from in order to balance the Education Trust Fund. The legislature borrowed $437 million and must pay back the entire balance by 2015. Governor Robert Bentley announced earlier in the week that the state would provide a payment of $260 million to the Rainy Day Fund by the beginning of 2014. So far, $274 million has been repaid to the fund.

 

Corporate income tax, use tax, and utility tax collections were all up slightly to end the 2013 fiscal year. Sales tax collections were up just barely, about 1%. 

The General Fund, the operating budget for all non-education agencies, saw its revenues up by approximately $3 million. 

For the next two fiscal years, the General Fund will be propped up by hundreds of millions of dollars from the Alabama Trust Fund. Voters approved Amendment One in 2012 to approve the transfer of $437 million from the oil and gas trust in order to balance the budget for three years.

The General Fund provides funds for Medicaid, The Department of Corrections, and the Department of Public Safety, among their agencies.

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