Lawmakers and budget officials prepare to build budget

BOSTON (WWLP) – State lawmakers and budget officials are trying to determine how much the state will collect in tax revenues in the 12-month period beginning in July.

“We will use this information we gather here today to agree to a tax revenue estimate. This estimate is the base on which we will build the next budget,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill).

This, as the state faces a budget shortfall estimated at $765 million. State revenue commissioner Amy Pitter expects an increase in tax revenues, but other experts question whether it can keep up with the pace of state spending. The business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation warned budget officials about the effects the global economy could have here in the U.S. The group says economic downturns in Europe, Japan and China could have negative impacts on our own trading market.

“How well can the U.S. economy sustain its growth when you’ve got all the major trading blocks of the world declining or slowing,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation’s Andy Bagley.

State lawmakers and budget officials will take this information and agree on one total number on which they will base their budget proposals.

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