HELENA — The chief revenue forecaster for the Montana Legislature told lawmakers that state tax collections are coming in about $70 million higher than was predicted last November.
Legislative Fiscal Analyst Terry Johnson says tax collections will be $67.7 million to $77.7 million higher for the fiscal year ending June 30.
Lee Newspapers of Montana reports Johnson attributed the increases to strong growth in wage and salary income, higher individual tax payments and improved corporate profitability.
State revenue estimates were a contentious issue during the 2011 legislative session, with Gov. Brian Schweitzer saying the analyst's estimates were too conservative.
Revenue estimates determine how much money the Legislature has to spend on education, human services, corrections and other items because the state is required to have a balanced budget.