Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 4, 2013

Potential budget cuts as W.Va. revenues decline

Associated Press

CHARLESTON — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration is considering mid-year budget cuts to offset a decline in state revenues.

A state report released Tuesday shows tax collections are about $57.4 million below estimates for the fiscal year that began July 1.

Tomblin chief of staff Charlie Lorensen tells the Charleston Daily Mail that the state could impose cuts or a hiring freeze to balance the budget.

Lorensen says another option is to use funds in accounts set up by the Legislature. But the Governor’s Office would need legislative approval to do so.

The report shows November tax collections were $14.9 million below estimates. Deputy revenue secretary Mark Muchow tells media outlets that coal and gas severance taxes accounted for most of the shortfall. He expects severance taxes to rebound in December.