Officials are considering changes in the way state tax revenues are estimated to avoid the pitfalls of the past year. The state budget had to be trimmed not once, not twice, but three times after a three-member panel of financial experts repeatedly over-estimated state tax collections. It’s become an issue in Governor Tom Vilsack’s re-election bid, and legislators are worried it’ll dog their campaigns, too. Now, the Legislature’s Oversight Committee is looking for new ideas. Republican Representative Willard Jenkins of Waterloo, co-chair of the committee, says there’s got to be a better way. The Governor today announced he’ll put business leaders on the state’s Economic Forecasting Council, which analyzes financial data and pegs income growth. Ron Parker, a spokesman for Governor Tom Vilsack.Parker says it’s an effort to enhance the state’s ability to get better financial information, quicker. Iowa Economic Forecasting Council chair Beth Ingram says it’ll be useful to have more voices on the Council to reflect other areas of the Iowa economy.Jamie Van Fossen of Davenport, the chairman of the House Ways and Means tax-writing Committee, says unfortunately, there’s no sure fire way to guess tax revenue.
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