Work begins on state budget for fiscal year 2018

Budget writers are using "conservative" estimates for predicting next year's tax revenue.

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts leaders are writing the state budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. Budget writers are using words like “cautious,” “conservative” and “modest” to describe their tax revenue predictions for the year ahead.

Governor Charlie Baker’s administration and House and Senate budget writers have agreed that the state is expected to collect $27 billion in taxes next fiscal year. State Senator Karen Spilka, Chair of the State Senate’s Ways and Means Committee, described that number as a “conservative estimate,” which could mean tighter spending compared to years past.

Some of that money has already been accounted for. State budget writers have agreed to transfer $1 billion to the MBTA, $840 million to the Massachusetts School Building Authority and another $23 million for workforce training.

To give you an idea of how much it costs to run the state: the state budget for the current fiscal year totals nearly $40 billion. Governor Charlie Baker has until January 24th to release his budget plan for fiscal year 2018. The House and Senate will then build off his proposal.