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State

Iowa budget experts see revenue growth next year

DES MOINES (AP) — State budget experts said Tuesday they expect state revenues to be about $1.9 million less than last year, revising their estimate to $7.91 billion.

The forecasters also estimated the state will bring in about $319 million more for next year despite economic challenges from the coronavirus pandemic and a sagging farm economy.

The estimate for the upcoming year would equate to 4% revenue growth, giving the state about $8.23 billion to spend, according to the Revenue Estimating Conference, a three-person panel that provide guidance for the governor and legislature.

The group by law must meet again in December and provide an estimate that Gov. Kim Reynolds must use to draft a budget.

Conference member Holly Lyons, director of fiscal services for the Iowa Legislative Services Agency, said the state’s economy was kept afloat by federal coronavirus emergency aid.

“Like the U.S. economy, Iowa’s economy won’t truly get back on track until the pandemic is over or at least until a viable vaccine or therapeutic treatment is available and widely distributed,” she said.

State budget director David Roederer was optimistic that the state is rebounding.

“Our economy isn’t growing by leaps and bounds but fundamentally we’re in pretty good shape,” he said.

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