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North Dakota surplus expected to be $38.4 million less than expected

BISMARCK - North Dakota's treasury will see $38.4 million less in general funds for 2009-11 than its budget writers assumed in November, a new forecast released today shows.

In a related forecast, a separate oil tax savings account will see $226.4 million less than was thought in November.

However, it doesn't mean North Dakota is anywhere near running short of money. The new forecast still calls for healthy surpluses in revenues; it's just that the surpluses won't be quite as big.

Gov. John Hoeven and his budget director outlined the forecast this morning to legislators who are writing the 2009-11 budget.

The changes foreseen are due to the national recession's effects on North Dakota, said Budget Director Pam Sharp.

The new projections for the general fund show that compared to the November revenue forecast, there will be $21.2 million less in sales and use tax collections, $7.7 million less in motor vehicle excise tax, $10 million less in individual income tax, $4 million less in corporate income tax and $8.7 million less in interest income.

The new projection for the oil tax trust fund now shows that it will have a balance of $602.7 million on June 30, 2011, instead of the earlier projection of a $829 million.