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State says revenue sees slight increase

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- The state says that tax collections and revenue remain steady and are up slightly over last year. Lee Newspapers of Montana reports general fund revenue collections for the fiscal year starting July 1 are $10.3 million through November. That is 1.5 percent ahead of the same timeframe last year. Fiscal analysts with the Legislative Fiscal Division spoke at a meeting of the Montana Taxpayers Association in Helena on Thursday and told them several budget issues loom. They include budgets for the Department of Public Health and Human Services and public schools as well as the outcome of lawsuits challenging parts of two laws passed this year to shore up state pension funds. The state anticipates projected budget surpluses will remain above $300 million through mid-2015. The ending fund balance in mid-2013 was $537 million.

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