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State income running ahead of projections

Jun 7, 2012 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming's revenues are accumulating slightly ahead of projections for the fiscal year that ends this month, but state officials are still bracing for a hit as the effect of recent lower natural gas prices filters through the tax collection system.

A recent state report shows revenues to the state's General Fund were 5.7 percent, or $58 million, ahead of projections through April.

However, state officials warn that natural gas production tax revenues are likely to continue to slide.

Prices for natural gas in Wyoming dipped below $2 per thousand cubic feet in April but have since climbed up to roughly $2.25.

State budget analysts in January predicted natural gas would average $3.25 this year. Each dollar drop in gas prices costs the state roughly $113 million a year in lost General Fund revenues.

Chris Boswell, head of the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information, said Monday that it appears likely that budget analysts may have to lower their state income projections again when they meet this fall. The state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group makes forecasts of the performance of energy markets and other factors.

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