RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina officials say state government tax collections will smash the projections used to help fashion the first year of the current two-year state budget.

The legislature’s economists and Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget office now believe state coffers should take in $4.24 billion more in the fiscal year ending June 30 than predicted last June. That’s a nearly 15% increase.

A memo released Monday by the General Assembly’s fiscal division also says the state should anticipate collecting $2 billion more in the next fiscal year.

These new numbers will inform Republican budget-writers and Cooper when they consider budget changes.

The General Assembly session begins next week.