State tax revenue dropped 16.2 percent in August, in part because the state was still sending income tax refund checks to Georgians from returns they filed in April.
Collections were off $207 million from August of 2008. Income tax revenue, which was affected by the refunds, were down 20.8 percent from last year. Sales taxes were off 12.5 percent. Corporate tax collections were down only slightly.
For the first two months of the fiscal year, collections are down 13.1 percent, or $324 million.
While the news isn’t good and comes on the heels of another round of big state budget cuts ordered by Gov. Sonny Perdue, it probably won’t change the state’s fiscal outlook.
Numbers for the first quarter of the fiscal year, which began July 1, are being compared with relatively good collection figures for the same period in July-September of 2008. The recession didn’t start hammering tax collections until late 2008. State officials hope by the end of this year, the numbers will start looking better if the economy begins to improve.