Estimated Tax Revenues Continue To Stir Budget Debate In Senate

May 13, 2013

While work on the state’s next two year budget continues in the Senate, the Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET), a levy on hospital revenue, still sits in the spotlight.

MET collection is $34 million short of estimates for this fiscal year. In Monday's Senate Finance Committee meeting, lawmakers expressed concern about overly optimistic forecasts for the next two year cycle.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas testified before the committee. He says that while his agency oversees Medicaid, it doesn’t handle taxes.

"DHHS is not involved at all with the collection of the Medicaid Enhancement Tax. We have no ability, basically, to approve, defer, recommend anything on that."

The Senate’s top budget writer, Chuck Morse, says the proposed budget inflates revenues by as much as $300 million.

Morse says the Senate’s budget "won’t be a pretty picture" compared to the House-approved version.