Based upon our analysis, we project the closing, net general fund balance at the end of this biennium (June 30, 2023) to be $3,812.3 million. This is $2,881.7 million above the net balance that was projected at the time of enactment of the 2021-23 biennial budget, as modified to: (1) incorporate the 2020-21 ending balance (2021-22 opening balance) as shown in the Annual Fiscal Report; and (2) revise 2021-22 individual income tax revenues to reflect the Department of Revenue’s decision to adjust tax withholding tables effective January 1, 2022.
The $2,881.7 million is the net result of: (1) an increase of $2,509.2 million in estimated tax collections; (2) an increase of $33.1 million in departmental revenues (non-tax receipts deposited into the general fund); and (3) a decrease of $339.4 million in net appropriations.
Notice that a substantial amount of the surplus is because of a decrease in appropriations. That means that they planned to spend it, but didn’t. The government actually has more money than it knows how to spend.
Give it back.