PORTAGE | State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, gave members of the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce a primer of sorts Thursday on the state budget process and the federal Affordable Care Act during its monthly luncheon.
Tallian said the budget committee will begin looking at the state's finances for the next two years in December. By mid-December, the revenue forecast will be available and in January, when state legislators come together for the long session, they will begin hashing out the state's biennial budget.
On the revenue side, Tallian predicts the state will "take a hit." Tallian said the state's top three revenue producers are sales and income taxes along with gaming revenue. It is the gaming revenue she anticipates will be down as adjacent states step up their offerings to gamblers.
In addition, she said, there are other issues that will cause revenue to decline, including the phasing out of the state inheritance tax and the lowering of the corporate income tax.
She also warned that the state's $2 billion surplus is "not as great as it sounds," being built on cuts to education and a dependence on stimulus funds that will no longer available.
"This $2 billion surplus is going to be gone fast, really fast," she said.
Tallian moved from a budget explanation to a brief overview of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, something, she said, will likely remain in the place in one form or another no matter who wins next month's presidential election.
"This is a really complicated piece of legislation. Its goal is to expand insurance coverage so every American has insurance in some way," she said.