Officials meet to consider tax revenues for state budget

The first order of business is reaching agreement

THINKSTOCK

BOSTON (AP) — Even as they grapple with a shortfall in the state’s current $36 billion budget, lawmakers and state officials are set to begin preliminary work on a spending plan for the next fiscal year.

The first order of business is reaching agreement on how much tax revenue the state can expect to collect in the 12-month period beginning July 1. That, in turn, helps determine how much money can be spent.

Such projections can be tricky. Revenue has fallen short of benchmarks in the current year, contributing to what Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says is a $765 million budget deficit.

Baker administration officials are expected to attend Thursday’s revenue hearing, along with House Ways and Means Committee chairman Brian Dempsey and newly-appointed Senate Ways and Means chairwoman Karen Spilka.

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