Bay State officials last week projected fiscal 2009 tax revenue of $20.98 billion. That would be an increase of $818 million compared with tax revenues expected for fiscal 2008.

The Executive Office for Administration and Finance, and the House and Senate Ways and Means committees calculated the $20.98 billion, and that figure will help shape Gov. Deval Patrick’s fiscal 2009 budget, which he will submit to the legislature later this month.

By law, the state must allocate tax revenue to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and to the state’s pension system before crafting the budget. Based on the projection, the MBTA would receive $768 million, the MSBA would get $702 million, and the pension system would receive $1.46 billion. That leaves the state with $18.05 billion of tax revenue for programs and operating expenses.

“The figure was arrived at after the parties received testimony at the consensus revenue hearing, at which participants provided information regarding Massachusetts’ economy and fiscal outlook,” according to a finance office press release. “Following the hearing, the secretary and budget committee chairs worked together to produce a reasonable and informed forecast for the next fiscal year’s revenues.”

A day before the tax revenue announcement, officials promoted Navjeet K. Bal to commissioner of the Department of Revenue from senior deputy position, replacing Henry Dormitzer, who will be leaving at the end of January to serve as chief financial officer at Free Flow Power Corp. Bal joined the department in September after an 18-year tenure at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC.

Massachusetts has about $18 billion of outstanding debt. Moody’s Investors Service rates the commonwealth Aa2, and Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s rate it AA.


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