Gov. Butch Otter's Division of Financial Management is forecasting that state tax revenues for the current year, fiscal year 2009, will come in 9.5 percent down from the previous year. Then, from that lowered level, DFM is predicting a 1 percent growth in revenue the next year. The result is a revenue forecast for next year that's 8.5 percent below what's expected to come in this year - that's the basis on which Otter built his budget. Wayne Hammon, DFM chief, told JFAC this morning that he's often asked how accurate the forecasts are, which are made by longtime state chief economist Mike Ferguson. Hammon said on average, in all the years Ferguson's been making the predictions, they've come in within just over 3 percent of the actual numbers.
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