Estimating Group Forecasts Lean Times Ahead for State Government

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CHEYENNE — The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) released their Wyoming State Government Revenue Forecast for Fiscal Years 2020 through 2024 on October 29.

The report decreases forecast revenues directed to the General Fund and Budget Reserve by $185.4 million over the next three fiscal years.

“The CREG report has shown Wyoming is facing leaner times. We will have to find a few new holes in our belt. This process will not be easy. Wyoming is accustomed to boom/bust cycles — what economists like to call “market cycles”; but this time I believe we may be experiencing a more fundamental change that will affect how well we can fund government services going forward,” Governor Mark Gordon said in a statement.

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News of further cuts to state revenue comes on the heels of officials in Sweetwater County already voicing concerns about a lack of distributions to counties and cities from the State General Fund. Local lawmakers point to that lack of support from the state as a key reason for needing voters to approve a temporary sales tax increase.

The state and local entities will be pressed to find ways to generate new revenue in light of recent industry bankruptcies, cutbacks and layoffs across the state.

“We will continue to deliver the services Wyoming citizens need in a more efficient manner. And, as always, we will ferret out waste, fraud, and abuse. But these alone will not address our future budget shortfalls,” Gordon said.