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NC officials: Gov’t surplus became even larger than planned

August 8, 2021 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s tax windfall for the last fiscal year turned out even larger than the bonanza that state government economists predicted would arrive due to the recovering economy.

The state ended up collecting $29.7 billion in revenues during the year that ended June 30, according to the Office of State Budget & Management. That’s $190 million more than the consensus forecast reached in mid-June by the budget office and General Assembly analysts.

That June forecast had already bumped up the anticipated collections by a massive $1.9 billion — the result of a resurgent post-pandemic economy following the end of shuttered businesses and lockdowns.

The closeout total means North Carolina took in 24% more revenues this past year compared to the year before.

Separately, OSBM said the amount of money unused by state agencies this year that got returned to the state treasury was 31% more than expected, or $523 million in all.

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These reversions and the late revenue windfall mean North Carolina will have $285 million more available to spend going forward, according to OSBM. Some of the extra funds were required to enter the state’s rainy-day reserve fund.

House and Senate Republicans have yet to finalize the next two-year state budget. The additional money is unlikely to alter much the calculus for budget writers since they have already agreed on spending caps for the current year and next.