Nebraska tax receipts $34 million below forecast in fiscal 2016/17

By Stephanie Kelly


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nebraska's net general fund tax receipts for fiscal 2016/17 came in $34 million below projections, the state said on Friday, a development its tax commissioner attributed in part to lower corn prices.


Net receipts for the fiscal year ended June 30 were $4.266 billion, 0.8 percent below a $4.3 billion forecast, according Nebraska's Department of Revenue.


June 2017's net receipts totaled $400 million, falling short of its projected total by 5.9 percent, the department said. June was the third consecutive month that net receipts fell below forecasts.


Nebraska's Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton said in an interview the forecast was missed partly because of lower corn prices, lower individual income tax revenue and projections that were too "rosy."

"It's been hard out there," Fulton said of farm conditions. "That has a lot to do with commodity prices are not where they have been in recent years."

The agriculture industry has been down since 2013, which includes a substantial drop in net farm income, said Brad Lubben, an extension agriculture policy specialist at the University of Nebraska. Crop and livestock prices have both fallen since 2012 and 2013, respectively, he said.

Lubben said the lower prices were certainly a leading factor in the lower tax receipts.

The agriculture sector in Nebraska accounts for about one of every four jobs in the state, he added.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said in a Friday statement he would "continue to closely monitor tax receipts to protect taxpayers."

Nebraska 10-year General Obligation debt traded 17 basis points over the benchmark Thomson Reuters Municipal Market Data triple-A yield scale on Thursday.

Chicago Board of Trade September corn futures <CU7> were up 4-1/4 cents to $3.74 per bushel by 12:34 p.m. CDT (1734 GMT) Friday.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Daniel Bases and Richard Chang)

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