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Maine Ends Fiscal Year With Big Budget Surplus

New numbers on the Maine state budget are out. Officials say revenues were above estimates, and state agencies did not spend all that was appropriated to them, yielding a surplus of nearly $176 million for 2018.

Finance Commissioner Alec Porteous says higher-than-projected revenue from the state’s income tax and sales tax and unspent balances in various state accounts of nearly $17 million resulted in the surplus. Budget law allocates the surplus.

“Mainly, it’s 80 percent to the budget stabilization fund, and 20 percent reserved for tax relief,” says Porteous.

Porteous also says the state’s cash position is now at record levels, with overall reserves totaling over $316 million, and the state’s budget stabilization fund is at a record $276 million.

“That’s a fund the Governor has worked really hard to build up during his administration,” he says. “The context around it is that we had $45 million in that fund at the end of fiscal year 2012, so we are six times more than that now.”