North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum says our state is replenishing its rainy-day Budget Stabilization Fund, thanks to a strong finish in the 2017 to 2019 biennium.
The two-year period ended in June, and the Governor says we are already starting out the next couple of years on a high note, with July revenues that came in at $42-million above projections.
The Budget Stabilization Fund was nearly drained to balance the 2015 to 2017 budget because prices for crude oil and farm commodities created a severe shortfall in state tax revenues.
In his budget recommendation last January, Burgum proposed using a $315-million transfer from oil and gas tax revenues.
He projected a $312-million ending balance to help refill the Stabilization Fund for the current biennium. North Dakota lawmakers didn’t adopt the recommendation, but the 2017 to 2019 biennium ended June 30, with a higher-than-projected ending balance of about $611-million. That’s $261-million more than legislators estimated.
This will result in a transfer to the Budget Stabilization Fund of $546-million, or $261-million more than the legislative estimate.
The fund’s current balance is 113.6 million.
On another positive note, July tax revenues were 7.6 percent, above the revenue forecast adopted by the Legislature in April. That’s according to the state Office of Management and Budget.