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

The fiscal 2023 state budget process will begin in earnest on Dec. 21 with the annual hearing where the Department of Revenue and other fiscal experts and economists discuss the prospects for the economy and state revenues over the second half of the fiscal year and the fiscal year to come.

The consensus revenue hearing, convened by the governor’s budget team and the House and Senate Ways and Means committees, marks the start of the new budget season.

The virtual hearing will start at 10 a.m., with streaming for the public and press available through the 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 will reach agreement on a tax revenue forecast for fiscal 2023 that will be used in the governor’s budget recommendation, due to be filed in January, and the House and Senate budget plans that are customarily released in April and May, respectively.

The hearing 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. The Baker-Polito administration has committed to increasing the UGGA account at the same rate as the “consensus” projection for the growth of state tax collections.

Approaching the midpoint of fiscal 2022, state tax collections continue to far exceed expectations. On Dec. 3, the Department of Revenue announced that tax collections for the first five months of the fiscal year totaled $13.6 billion, 18.7% percent above collections through the same period a year ago. Thus far, fiscal 2022 collections have surpassed budget benchmarks by $914 million, or 7.2%.

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