State Tax Revenues Still Down, With Slight Increase Predicted
JEFFERSON CITY — During the past month, Missouri tax revenues continued to fall short. According to Linda Luebbering, state budget director, revenues were down more than $170 million in December 2009, as compared to December 2008. The slide amounts to a 21.7-percent decrease.
Despite the most recent decline, state officials say they expect tax revenues to bounce back slightly during the next fiscal year.
A joint forecast made by the governor’s office, state budget leaders, and financial experts predicts a slight increase in general revenue collections for fiscal year 2011, above those in fiscal year 2010. According to that forecast, the Consensus Revenue Estimate (CRE), general revenue collections are expected to be $7.223 billion. This would be a decrease of $780 million from actual revenue collections from fiscal year 2008.
State revenues collected from individual income taxes, corporate income and franchise taxes, and sales and use taxes were all down in December by 26.5 percent, 13.5 percent, and 1.8 percent, respectively.
The only increase in revenue came from liquor sales, which saw a 10.25-percent increase. Liquor sales have generally remained stagnant or have increased during recent months, although beer revenues declined by 6.71 percent. (See a detailed spreadsheet here.)
In addition to the falling numbers for December, the general revenues for the 2010 fiscal year to date have declined 10.6 percent for the same time during the 2009 fiscal year, from $3.7 billion last year to $3.3 billion this year.
Legislators responsible for the state’s budget, such as Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Mayer and House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, have repeatedly warned the state to prepare for reductions in spending in order to maintain a balanced budget. In recent months, officials have cut hundreds of millions from the state budget, and may soon cut more.
Gov. Jay Nixon will announce budget details for his fiscal year 2011 at the State of the State address on Jan. 20.
Andrew Guevara is a student at the University of Missouri–Columbia.