AUGUSTA –– Maine concluded the fiscal year with $59.1 million surplus, which the state’s finance chief attributed to an improving economy and conservative budgeting.

Richard Rosen, the commissioner of the Department of Financial and Administrative Services, said the unappropriated surplus will help increase the state’s budget stabilization fund, also known as the rainy day fund, to $111.1 million. The fund is used during economic downturns and evaluated by credit agencies.

“While I’m pleased to see the Budget Stabilization Fund surpass the $100 million threshold, the current balance is too low of a reserve for a state that spends more than $3 billion annually,” Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement. “National credit rating agencies have warned Maine of the importance of increasing available financial reserves, and I am committed to increasing the balance of the budget stabilization fund.”

Growth in revenue from personal and corporate income taxes, as well as the sale tax, contributed to the surplus, according to revenue reports. Those revenues had been mostly stagnant during the recession.

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