Colorado Budget Director Says Revenue Surges by $231 Million

A $231 million increase in the forecast for fourth-quarter tax revenue will allow the state to restore planned cuts to public schools, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget director said today.

The gains in income, sales and use taxes will help officials plug gaps in funding for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, said Henry Sobanet, director of the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting at a presentation to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity that simply was not evident during the summer, when there was a lot of turbulence and uncertainty,” Sobanet told the committee. “Now we’re seeing stronger employment and business activity.”

Sobanet said his office is preparing a supplemental budget request for fiscal 2012 that will ask for $22 million to accommodate increasing enrollment in public schools.

Gains in job growth and income tax revenues will allow the Governor to withdraw a $30-million reduction he proposed to higher-education funding for the 2013 fiscal year, Sobanet added.

Hickenlooper will also restore $67 million in funding in fiscal 2013 for public education, Sobanet said.

“The cuts to K-12 education in next year’s budget were the last and hardest to make,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “That’s why we want those cuts to be the first restored.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Oldham in Denver at joldham1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey Taylor at Jtaylor48@bloomberg.net.

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