Nevada 2022 revenue $1 billion over projections

Geoff Dornan / Nevada Appeal

Nevada’s General Fund revenues are ahead of projections by a hair over $1 billion so far this biennium.

Analysts presented the numbers during Thursday’s Economic Forum meeting. The meeting was designed as an update as the five-member forum prepares to make its projections for the coming biennium in December.

By law, the governor and Legislature must use the forum’s projections to build the state budget for the coming two years unless they approve a tax generating more money. The forum consists of five private industry experts in finance and economics, independent of the government.

Legislative analyst Michael Nakamoto told the panel actual collections so far were $5.44 billion in FY 2022. That is just over $1 billion more than the $4.42 billion projected by the forum at the end of the 2021 Legislature.

Of that increase, $266 million comes from the taxes on Nevada casinos which have collected more than a billion in win in each of the last 12 months, an unprecedented total.

The Commerce Tax also came in well above projections, beating the $225.5 million projected revenue by $53.3 million, but that revenue stream was joined by several other major contributors that also exceeded projections.

Asked how the May 2021 projections missed the mark so much, especially in gaming, Nakamoto and longtime LCB economist Russ Guindon pointed out that, considering the state Nevada’s economy was in when they made projections two years ago, they seriously doubt forum members would have accepted such optimistic projections.

“I don’t know if any of those forecasts would have been taken seriously,” said Nakamoto.

“It seems like everything was better than we thought,” said Guindon.

The forum meets again Nov. 14 to refine the data coming in from taxation and other agencies that monitor Nevada’s General Fund revenue streams.

The key meeting, however, is set for Dec. 5 when the forum will actually project General Fund revenues for the coming biennium.

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