Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair Michael Rodrigues, and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Aaron Michlewitz

Next Tuesday, Dec. 15, the House and Senate Ways and Means committees and the governor’s budget office will convene the annual “consensus” revenue hearing, where the Department of Revenue and other fiscal experts and economists will discuss the prospects for the economy and state revenues over the second half of fiscal 2021 and for fiscal 2022.

The virtual hearing will start at 11:30 a.m., with streaming for the public and press available through the Hearing & Events section of Legislature’s website. The event will be closed to the public, and the participants in State House Hearing Room A-2 will be practicing social distancing.

Following the hearing, legislative leaders and the administration are expected to reach agreement on a tax revenue forecast for fiscal 2022 that would be used in the governor’s budget recommendation, due to be filed by Jan. 27, and the House and Senate budget plans that are customarily released in April and May, respectively.

The annual revenue hearing marks the start of the new budget season. It is important for municipal officials because it provides insights into the direction of the economy and anticipated state revenues available to fund municipal and school aid programs next year, particularly Unrestricted General Government Aid. In recent years – with the exception of fiscal 2021 – the UGGA account has increased at the same rate as the “consensus” projection for the growth of state tax collections.

The revenue hearing usually features testimony from the revenue commissioner on prospects for the state’s economy and a forecast for tax collections. The state treasurer then provides testimony on pension funding and a forecast for Lottery revenues.

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