State finance officials are expected to provide an updated revenue forecast to the Joint Budget Committee this week, and House Speaker Robbie Wills, D-Conway, doesn’t expect it to be pretty.
“I’ll let the Department of Finance and Administration speak for themselves, but I think we’re expecting a pessimistic outlook,” Wills said today.
But Wills said he would reserve judgment on whether the Legislature acted too soon to pass a 1 percent cut in the state sales tax on groceries and a three-fourths of a percent cut in the sales tax on manufacturers’ utilities.
“We’re one of the only states in the country who’s even been able to consider tax relief,” he said. “Hopefully, whatever downturn we’re in will be temporary and we’ll pull out of it.”
Richard Weiss, director of the state Department of Finance and Administration, wouldn’t say whether this week’s forecast would be gloomy.
“You’ll need to be there to hear it,” he said.