- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s lawmakers got an official number for the financial cliff they’ve created for themselves in 2018: nearly $1.5 billion.

That’s how short the state budget will be in the 2018-19 fiscal year when taxes passed earlier this year by lawmakers - mainly a 1 percent state sales tax increase - hit their expiration dates.

The financial update was presented Friday to the joint House and Senate budget committee.

For now, Louisiana’s budget is balanced for the current fiscal year that began July 1, and next year’s projection is largely problem-free.

But the reprieve from financial woes will be brief.

State officials expect to close the books on the last budget year with a deficit that will have to be closed this year. They should have an estimate later this month.

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