BATON ROUGE, LA (AP) - Louisiana's revenue estimates have plunged by more than $2 billion over two years.
The state's income forecasting panel received updated revenue figures Wednesday that showed the state's general fund dropped an estimated $812 million from the 2007-08 year to last year.
And projections of another $1.3 billion general fund decline were built into the budget for this year, the 2009-10 fiscal year. If those estimates hold, that would mean the state's income has fallen $2.1 billion from the budget year that ended June 30, 2008, to the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2010.
The decline is tied to plummeting oil and gas prices, a slowdown in hurricane recovery spending that had boosted tax income, and tax breaks passed by lawmakers, Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Gov. Kathleen Blanco that siphoned money from the treasury.