DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad and legislative budget-makers may have to confront options this week for balancing the state’s fiscal 2017 ledger that could include dipping into reserves as a temporary stopgap if projected growth in tax collections is downgraded again.
The state Revenue Estimating Conference — which already has lowered this fiscal year’s tax receipt estimates in October and again in December — is slated to convene Tuesday to decide whether its 4.7 percent growth projection for total net state tax receipts through June 30 is too optimistic.
The governor and GOP-controlled Legislature already made $117.8 million in midyear spending adjustments earlier this session that included $88.2 million in targeted cuts and $25 million in fund transfers to keep a positive ending balance of $600,000 projected through the June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
The adjustments were precipitated by lackluster revenue growth blamed on a sagging farm economy that threw out of balance the $7.2 billion spending plan put in place by the 2016 Legislature and Branstad.