AUGUSTA – State lawmakers will have to fill a new $47 million hole in the next two-year state budget, according to updated revenue figures released Tuesday.

The state’s Revenue Forecasting Commission updated projections based on a slower-than-expected economic recovery and, in particular, less money from individual and corporate income taxes, said Jerome Gerard, acting executive director for Maine Revenue Services.

Also, the forecasters expressed concern about rising oil and gas prices, which will mean less money in sales taxes for the state.

Summer tourists are sensitive to gas prices, which could hurt tourism-related businesses, said Michael Allen, director of economic research for Maine Revenue Services.

Appropriations Committee House Chairman Patrick Flood, R-Winthrop, said he was encouraged that the drop in projected revenue wasn’t as big as it has been in recent years.

Sen. Dawn Hill, D-York, said she’s frustrated that the projections are constantly changing. In response, Allen said it’s difficult to predict revenue accurately, especially when oil prices can range from $80 to $112 a barrel.

“We’re in a very volatile economic environment,” he said. “I understand it’s frustrating to hear about assumptions.”

In February, Gov. Paul LePage proposed a $6.1 billion budget for the two years that start July 1. Next week, his administration will present a package of changes to the budget proposal, which could include suggestions for covering the new shortfall.

“As always, we work with what we have, and we’ll come forward with a budget that’s balanced and we’ll work through this additional revenue reduction,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston, the ranking Democrat on the committee.

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at: [email protected]