CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Budget Director Mike McKown apologized to a group of state lawmakers for possibly ruining their sunny Monday afternoon with news about the state budget.

McKown was asked to speak with a legislative interim committee considering funding for higher education. He told committee members when state lawmakers begin working on the 2015 state budget next year they are going to find it a difficult task.

McKown said there’s a $265 million hole that has to be made up with either increased revenue or budget cuts and the revenue currently doesn’t look good.

“We’re currently down 3.4 percent (in tax collections) if we’re down 3.4 percent for the whole year that’s over 100-million dollars.”

McKown said the state has actually collected less revenue so far this fiscal year than it had at this time last year—and last year was a tight budget.

For the second year in a row the governor has asked state agencies to submit budget requests that include a 7.5 percent cuts in spending. McKown said they’ve exempted public education, corrections and Medicaid so the cuts will only produce about $80 million.

McKown reminded lawmakers the only way to meet the $265 million hole is to raise revenues, cut spending or a combination of the two.

“There’s no appetite to raise taxes,” McKown said. “So you have to cut budgets.”

The $265 million hole is mainly caused by Medicaid, which the state has met with one-time monies in recent years. Those monies are gone.

 

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Comments

  • john

    The Governor and the Legislature may have to dig into that billion dollar plus "Rainy Day" fund that they are setting on. Wonder what a rainy day is if its not finding that much of a budget shortfall? Political games, my friends...I wouldn't believe any of them.
    Governor Tomblin should have taken this possibility into consideration before adding more "hogs on the corn" by expanding Medicaid, which was a tremendous drag on the budget before the expansion. There is no incentive for people to work any more...just go the local DHHR office and sign up for all those freebies that the ones who work are paying for. What a shame the way this country has been allowed to deteriorate....God help us.

  • stophating

    Here's an idea... let's cut business taxes again.... it didn't bring any increased job growth last time, maybe it will work this time.....

    The only job growth in the state has been Marcellus jobs, and they can't take those jobs out of the state. Let's tell businesses we gave them the cut and jobs didn't come-- so let's put the 300 million we cut for businesses that was supposed to grow our economy back and the budget hole is solved.

    How about increasing the tobacco tax as well.

    • Spell Checker

      Amen, stophating.

      The state Chamber (Pot) of Commerce, in their quest for the fabled No-Tax Nirvana, is always quick to point out that taxes need to be eliminated to encourage business "growth" and thereby "employment". Irresponsible state legislators, in gratitude for the contributions to their reelection campaigns, merrily go along with such suggestions and Joe Middleclass is left with nothing to show for it but budget shortfalls.

      Oh, they'll have statistics showing that the last business tax cut coincided with "hundreds of jobs" being created. What they don't tell you is that a few were low-paying convenient store clerk jobs while the bulk were jobs for out-of-state, non-resident extractors. The political fat cats and human resource officials in Texas and Oklahoma are now smiling.

      All of our elected officials have gone along with it in that yearly spasm that is the Legislature.

      Road apples. Sounds like trickle-on economics to me.

      When will we ever learn?

      Just one man's opinion.......

    • Yeah! Right!

      Ever hear of Haliburton. I think they moved some of those jobs out of state.

  • wvtd

    welcome to obamaville folks. the place where everyone is dependent on government handouts. Obama could not run a lemonade stand and is in way over his little head as a so called president, more like castro than castro.

  • dude

    Plus, the dems cut taxes like the food one. Then when the Republicans come back in control and finally balance the budget and bring it back, the dems scream and yell how they are the ones doing us a favor and the Republicans are the ones taxing us to death.

  • Interesting123

    Look for tobacco taxes to potentially increase. Just moving WV to the national average per pack tax brings in close to $100 mil.

  • CaptainQ

    Look for a quick return of the 6% Food Tax in the near future to cover this!

    • dude

      AMEN!!!! They do it to make you "feel good" when in reality they are just blasting the deficit even deeper. What a bunch of nuts.

  • Maynard

    Doom and gloom Mike. Watch for an unexpected surplus at the end of the FY.

  • Woodchuck

    Solution: marijuana

  • Joe

    Honestly, the sheer level of entitlement mentality of this state that is supported by our legislature is beyond belief.

    How many medicaid eligible adults also receive welfare, food stamps, disability obtained via a, shall we say, less than positive work and contribute attitude do we have to support? Cut 'em off!

  • john

    Only going to get worst, Obama's transformation of America at work!

  • RogerD

    That's ok. The leftist ideologues and the incompetents that blindly follow will simply increase taxes on the productive that provide the goods and services. No problem!

  • CPA

    The elected officials of this state should be apologizing to the tax payers. The amount of money wasted is truly incredible. $265 million, no problem, we the tax payers can cover this, as always. When will we ever learn?

  • susanf1218

    And our idiot governor went right along w/the plan to expand Medicaid! So, instead of it eating a $265 million hole in the state budget, it will be even higher! Thanks ever SO much, Earl Ray! Brilliant decision!

    • pc

      Bingo! We have a winner. . .but, unfortunately it is not our not-so-bright Governor Billy Bob nor West Virginia taxpayers. Yeah, the Gov. apparently only consulted the usual suspects, i.e., left leaning fellow traveler columnists in the Charleston Gazette who constantly urged the expansion of Medicaid to over 100,000 more residents. The Governor apparently ignored fact that Medicaid is chief reason for budget deficits currently and also fell hook, line and sinker for ludicrous claims by Gazette that expansion would create about 6,000 new jobs in about 6 years. Everybody check back around 2019 to see if such jobs materialize; if so, then taxes generated from such new jobs should take care of budget woes, but don't hold your breath!!

  • Woodchuck

    Wonder if the liberals will reach in their pockets and get money out?

  • wvman75

    And the democrats went along with Obama and his unaffordable health care plan and expanded Medicaid. These democrats crack me up. First, their fellow democrats are destroying the coal industry and then our democrats whine about a lack of tax revenue and say they're doing all they can do to fight back against their own political party. What a bunch of lying liberals.

    I can see why they want to disarm America. They're afraid we'll eventually wise up.