According to Leslie Eaton at the New York Times, Louisiana was girding itself for a huge revenue gap this year. It seemed impossible that enough taxes would be paid back to pay the state's expenses, since so many had fled after Hurricane Katrina.
Surprise surprise: Revenues are way up.
The state predicted that tax collections would plunge by almost $900 million this year, and it slashed spending to match. Instead, a record $9.2 billion is on track to be collected by the time the budget year ends on June 30, and at least some of that tax flow looks as if it is likely to continue.
Part of the upswing has come from gamblers dropping more dollars at casinos and video poker machines. Another part has come from higher oil and gas prices, which not only increase the state's taxes and royalties, but also increase profits in the petrochemical industry, which is a vital part of the Louisiana economy.
Of course, this is Louisiana; anyone want to guess where that revenue will actually end up?