Vermont’s September Revenue Figures Exceed Target for the Month

first_imgVermont’s September Revenue Figures – General Fund, Transportation Fund and Education Fund – Exceed Target for the MonthMontpelier, VT (October 10, 2008) – Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville has released General Fund revenue results for themonth of September, the third month of Fiscal Year 2009. General Fund revenues totaled $127.44million for September 2008, +$13.84 million or +12.19% above the $113.60 million consensusrevenue forecast for the month. Cumulatively, General Fund revenues year to date were $294.03million or +12.97 million (+4.61%) above the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009.However, there are certain factors that impact the availability of this apparent above target result.It is important to note that the September revenue includes a legal settlement of $6.03 million. At thetime the consensus revenue forecast was approved in July 2008, the outcome of the legal action wasunknown. Consequently, no amount was included in the consensus forecast for the potentialsettlement; however, an estimated $5.57 million was anticipated and already earmarked for use. Ofthe $6.03 million, $2.3 million has been transferred to Teachers’ Retirement and the remaining $3.73million was included in the August 2008 General Fund Rescission, reducing the appropriationreductions necessary to balance the FY 2009 budget. This means that only $0.46 million of thesettlement is in excess of what was anticipated, not the entire $6.03 million.Without the portion of the settlement that was anticipated, General Fund revenue results for themonth of September were +$8.28 million or +7.29% above the $113.60 million consensus revenueforecast for the month. Cumulatively, adjusted General Fund revenues year to date were +$7.40 million (+2.63%) above the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009. However, giventhe instability in the national economy, we do not expect revenues to exceed targets for theremainder of the fiscal year.The monthly targets reflect the most recent Fiscal Year 2009 consensus revenue forecast that wasagreed to by the Emergency Board on July 29, 2008. The state’s consensus revenue forecast isnormally updated two times per year in January and July. However, with the downturn in thenational economy, the Emergency Board has scheduled an interim review of the consensus revenueforecast for November 18, 2008.Personal Income Tax receipts are the largest single state revenue source, and are reported Net ofPersonal Income Tax refunds. Personal Income Tax receipts for September were $67.33 million,+$4.50 million or +7.16% above the monthly target. Corporate Income tax receipts for Septemberwere $12.28 million, +$1.18 million or +10.65% above the target for the month. Both the PersonalIncome Tax and Corporate Income Tax receipts were significantly above target in the category ofestimated income tax payments. For those individual and corporate tax payers required to payestimated tax payments in lieu of withholding tax, those payments are generally paid at a minimumof 90% of their prior year tax amount. In light of national economic turbulence, it is veryprobable that a significant portion of these estimated payments will need to be refunded whenthe 2008 tax returns are filed. In other words, we do not believe that the elevated revenues seenin September will continue in future months.Sales & Use Tax and Rooms & Meals Tax were both above target for the month. Sales and Use Taxwas +$0.51 million (+2.95%) above the target for September of $17.30 million, while Rooms &Meals was +$0.71 million (+6.00%) above the monthly target of $11.82 million. The remaining taxcomponent results for the month were: Insurance Premium, $2.14 million (+85.72%);Inheritance/Estate Tax, $0.17 million (-88.00%); Real Property Transfer Tax $0.99 million(+1.53%); and Other, $14.19 million (+103.58%). Included in the Other category was $6.03 millionin Bank Franchise tax – the settlement dollars referred to earlier in this press release. Year to dateresults for these components were: Insurance Premium, $8.17 million (+2.97%); Inheritance/EstateTax, $1.82 million (-53.24%); Real Property Transfer Tax $3.06 million (+0.07%); and Other,$27.68 million (+48.86%), inclusive of the $6.03 million settlement.Transportation FundSecretary Lunderville also reported on the results for the non-dedicated Transportation Fund revenue.Transportation Fund revenue was $19.07 million, which was +$0.22 million, or +1.18%, above themonthly target for September. Cumulatively, Transportation Fund revenues year to date of $53.38million were -$1.71 million or -3.11% below the consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2009.For the month of September, Gasoline Tax revenue was slightly above target; actual revenues fromthe Gasoline Tax were +$0.32 million (+5.66%) above the consensus revenue estimate of $5.65million. The Other Fees of $1.87 was also above the target by +$0.38 (+25.20%). The Diesel Tax,Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax, and Motor Vehicle Fees were all below their monthly targets;Diesel Tax, $1.28 million or -5.44% below the monthly target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax,$4.69 million or -5.67% below the monthly target; and Motor Vehicle Fees, $5.27 million or -2.20%below the monthly target.Education FundSecretary Lunderville released revenue results for the “the non-Property Tax” Education Fundrevenues (which constitute approximately 12% of the total Education Fund receipts). The EducationFund receipts totaled $13.27 million for the month of September, or $0.18 million (+1.35%) abovethe $13.09 million consensus revenue target for the month. Cumulatively, Education Fund revenuesyear to date were $37.82 million or -$1.05 million (-2.70%) below the consensus revenue forecast forFiscal Year 2009.The portion of the Education Fund derived from the Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use Tax was belowexpectations for the month of September, as was the Lottery Transfer. The Education Fund portionof the Sales & Use Tax was above target for September.Specifically, the Education Fund components were: Sales and Use Tax, $8.90 million or +2.95%above target; Motor Vehicle Purchase & Use, $2.35 million or -5.67% below target; LotteryTransfer, $1.89 million or -2.16% below target; and Education Fund Interest $0.13 million or+454.47% above the monthly target.ConclusionSecretary Lunderville cautioned that, “The continued volatility in the national economy is a seriousconcern. We need to be very cautious because of the uncertainty of national markets and theexpectation that a significant amount of the Estimated Income Tax payments received to date in theGeneral Fund will likely need to be refunded. We will continue to monitor future revenues veryclosely and review the situation again after the revenue forecast is revised in November.”Note: Revenue Estimates are fiscal year total estimates.Prepared by Department of Finance & ManagementDate: October 02, 2008last_img read more

Tullow spuds first of two exploration wells offshore Guyana

first_imgOil and gas company Tullow Oil has started drilling operations offshore Guyana with the spudding of the first exploration well on its Jethro-Lobe prospect on the Orinduik Block.Stena Forth drillship. Image source: Stena DrillingTullow is the operator of the Orinduik Block with a 60% Working Interest and its partners are Total and Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas with 25% and 15% interest, respectively.Eco said on Friday that the exploration well on the Jethro-Lobe prospect was spud at 22:45hrs (Local Guyana time) on Thursday, July 4, 2019, using the Stena Forth drillship.The Stena Forth was mobilized from West Africa – where it had been operating for Tullow – to the Orinduik Block in June. The Jethro Lobe prospect was initially expected to be spudded on or around June 26, 2019.Eco and its partners estimate that the well will take up to 40 days to drill.Jethro Lobe is the first prospect to be drilled as part of a two-well program and will be immediately followed by the drilling of an exploration well on the Joe prospect.Eco added it is fully funded for its share of up to six potential exploration or development wells on the Orinduik Block in addition to the Jethro Lobe and Joe exploration wells.Gil Holzman, Eco Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Today Eco Atlantic’s first Guyana well has been spud, three years ahead of our Petroleum Agreement commitment. This is the start of a hugely exciting time for the company. Jethro Lobe will test the Lower Tertiary aged turbidites, as well drilling down into the Cretaceous. As such, we await the well results with great anticipation, as they will give us an even greater understanding of the geological plays.“The huge success which ExxonMobil has had on the neighbouring Stabroek Block, has aided our geological assessment of the many similar channel systems in our Orinduik Block. With fifteen leads and prospects identified on the Orinduik Block, and funding to drill six potential exploration wells beyond the two currently planned, this is only the start of a fascinating and potentially transformational time for the company.”Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Arizonas virgin ant queens could shed light on the predictability of evolution

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Before a warming world turned Arizona’s lower elevations into desert 10,000 years ago, they were carpeted in wildflowers and forests. Rising above it all were the five Sky Islands: 2400-meter-tall mountains that hosted unique wildlife, including ants whose winged virgin queens swarmed the forests to found new colonies. But when desert swallowed the lowlands, all that remained of the ants’ stomping grounds were the forested peaks. To cope, the now-isolated colonies evolved an identical strategy: The queens lost their wings. New research shows that these parallel adaptations could shed light on a longstanding debate on the predictability of evolution.For a long time, biologists have wondered whether the evolutionary history of life on Earth would happen the same way if we hit the “rewind” button and started over. Some argue the course of evolution is largely predictable, but others say it is too dependent on random events to be repeatable.To explore this issue, Marie-Julie Favé, a biologist at the University of Montreal in Canada, focused on the ants of Arizona’s Sky Islands. The insects—Monomorium emersoni—started as a single population, but they became separated into five main groups when the desert encroached on their habitat. To deal with the new climate, queens in all of the groups lost their wings. Flying queens can go farther than flightless ones and significantly increase the territory of their colonies. But flight carries a high risk of death—ants floating on the breeze are much likelier to be blown into the desert, where they will die. When the land around the Sky Islands turned to desert, flight lost its advantage. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country “The Sky Islands are really a fascinating environment,” says Favé, who conducted the research while a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal. “Within half an hour, you can drive from the desert into the mountains whose forests look just like those in Quebec. It’s an enormous challenge for these ants to adapt to such a dramatic environmental gradient.”To find out how they adapted, the researchers sequenced genes from all five populations. They found a significant genetic divergence between the ants on the northern and southern mountain ranges, which reflected their historical isolation. With this as their baseline, they set out to examine the genetic and developmental basis for wing loss in the queens from the five populations.Thanks to extensive studies on wing development in fruit flies, the researchers were familiar with the network of genes that was likely to be involved in wing development in the ants. Using antibodies, they were able to see in the lab where the candidate genes were being expressed in the ants’ wing discs—small pouches of cells that later become adult wings. They identified the gene expression patterns for ants from all five populations, and found that some changes were repeated in each group, whereas others were unique.For example, the expression of a key gene involved in cell differentiation varied in each of the populations. Other genetic changes repeated themselves in each group, presumably because there are a limited number of ways to make wingless queens. For example, four genes involved in wing patterning all had similarly changed patterns of expression. This is the first study in wild populations to show that adaptation to climate change is a “mosaic” of random and predictable genetic changes, says lead author Ehab Abouheif, an evolutionary developmental biologist at McGill University, in a paper published online today in BMC Evolutionary Biology.The fact that the five populations evolved similar adaptations suggests that there is predictability to evolution, he says. But the randomness of evolutionary change is also apparent, because the separate ant populations are using slightly different genetic mechanisms to get to the same end.Abouheif says the results could have profound implications for understanding the genetic and developmental basis of adaptation to climate change. Current models that predict animals’ responses to climate change focus on demography—migration and changes in population size—but do not consider how climate change might alter a species’s development, in particular its ability to disperse.Greg Wray, a biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved in the study, says the authors were smart to use wing development in the well-studied fruit fly to understand wing development in the less well-understood flying ants. He also noted that the researchers’ ability to study five instances of the same evolutionary experiment in wild populations is particularly unusual. “What makes the Sky Islands so interesting for this particular study is the possibility that you can get independent replicates,” or copies of the same evolutionary experiment, he says.center_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more