- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s often uncertain April 15 tax collections didn’t yield much of a surprise this year for lawmakers drawing up the next state government budget.

The new consensus forecast by economists at the General Assembly and the state budget office predicts a $581 million revenue surplus for the fiscal year ending June 30. Friday’s number is only $28 million above what they projected for the year back in February. That’s a small adjustment given the current state budget is more than $22 billion.

Still, revenues are about 2.5 percent ahead of original expectations. The surplus and resulting predicted growth through mid-2019 could provide some leeway for Republican legislators interested in program spending increases, tax cuts or both. The Senate was expected to unveil its two-year budget proposal early next week.

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