Economists Offer Gloomy Revenue Forecasts

Tennessee’s budget woes show no sign of letting up any time soon. Top economists from across the state are forecasting a shortfall of up to one-billion dollars for next year. The national recession is forcing people to save money and spend what they have conservatively. That’s especially bad for a state like Tennessee, where the economy is sales tax based. Tax collections have dropped sharply during the first quarter of the fiscal year. They’re not expected to rebound until at least mid-2009. Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz says bridging such a gap will require painful, noticeable cuts to services offered by the state.