The expiration of a moratorium on energy tax credits also is causing natural gas tax collections to lag, he said.
To help the state get through a significant budget shortfall two years ago, energy companies agreed to have the state suspend for two years a rebate program on natural gas produced through certain more expensive drilling methods. It was estimated oil companies would have been paid $150 million in rebates for the two-year period, which ended July 1. Actual drilling figures, however, showed the state owes $294 million in rebates on oil from horizontal and deep wells; the state is paying back nearly $98 million a year for three years, beginning with this fiscal year.
“Fortunately, strong tax collections in other areas are making up for those losses,” Doerflinger said.
General revenue fund collections for the first quarter of this fiscal year were $1.3 billion, down $6.4 million, or 0.5 percent, from the same period a year ago, but were $22.3 million, or 1.7 percent, above the estimate.