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Maine: Fiscal year ended with unexpected revenue

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine ended the fiscal year with $39.1 million more in revenues than officials had expected, Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration said Wednesday.

The extra revenue plus unspent state funds produced a net year-end surplus of nearly $62 million when the fiscal year ended June 30, said Richard Rosen, acting commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. More than $12 million of that will be carried over into the new fiscal year that began this month, he said.

Rosen said that the individual income tax and corporate income tax brought in more money than forecasters had anticipated. But sales tax collections came in slightly under what was budgeted, he said.

More than $49 million of the surplus was transferred to a variety of reserves, including the rainy day fund, which received $8.5 million and now holds $68.3 million.

That means the state ended the year with more than $93 million in total reserves, Rosen said.

LePage applauded his administration's practice of fiscal responsibility for helping the state end the year in the black, saying that he's focused on the "next generation, not the next election."

But Rep. Peggy Rotundo, a Democrat from Lewiston and co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, said that LePage is taking credit for a budget that he vetoed. Rotundo said she's also concerned that the dipping sales tax figures indicate that Maine families are still struggling in the poor economy.

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