CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss told MetroNews Thursday it’s time to apply some medicine to the state’s revenue ills.
December revenue collections missed estimates once again putting the state $66 million behind estimates through the first six months of the fiscal year.
“It is time to start taking some action and I think you’ll see that action in the next several days,” Kiss said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Kiss, the budget staff and others have been reviewing options. Kiss said they have a plan to deal with a $70 million shortfall. He said the tools are familiar ones.
“There could be mid-year budget cuts. They can take the form of the elimination of a capital expenditure that maybe doesn’t need to be done this year. It can be deferred. Also hiring freezes,” Kiss suggested.
Revenues from personal income tax and consumer sales tax continue to be behind where the state thought they would be this budget year. Kiss said there are some signs the economy is beginning to takes steps forward but they need more evidence.
“We need to see that for several months in a row and it’s right now a delicate situation,” he said. “We’re watching it and trying to decide what medicine to apply. Clearly, we’ve come to the conclusion that medicine needs to be applied. We don’t want to apply too much medicine or too little,” he said.
Leading lawmakers have also been involved in the budget discussions according to Kiss.