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Maine Opens New Budget Year in the Red

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine started the new budget year in July in the red by more than $3 million. But it’s not as bad as it first sounds.

State law requires transfers to various accounts, such as the Milk Stabilization Fund and the Tourism Promotion Fund. This year, all of those happened in July.  In the past, some of those transfers have occurred in August, says state Finance Commissioner Richard Rosen.

“All indications are that the combination of good weather and low gas prices are showing strength in food, in lodging, in retail activity," Rosen says.

Rosen says, for example, that overall sales tax collections are more than 5 percent higher than a year ago. He says after the first three months of the budget year he will have a better idea of how much state revenues are growing.