Georgia’s streak of positive revenue collections ended at one.
Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office said Friday that tax collections in April were down 4.2 percent over April 2009, a return to negative numbers after March’s reprieve. March ended a 15-month skid of revenue declines.
Perdue’s office said the drop in April was largely the result of an increase in income tax refunds, which itself was a sign that individuals were earning less than a year ago. The state saw refunds increase in April by $57.6 million over the same period a year ago, and the overall monthly revenue collections were down by $58.5 million. Individual income tax collections, too, were down, by more than $128 million in April.
Other tax collections, meanwhile, were up. Sales tax collections rose by more than 7 percent in April and corporate income taxes spiked by nearly 14 percent.
The monthly revenue figures are important as they guide state leaders in writing and adjusting the annual state budget. It’s not immediately clear whether April’s downturn will require adjustments to the current spending plan for the fiscal year that ends June 30. But the revenue collections in the current fiscal year are used to set a budget for fiscal 2011, which begins July 1, and if the numbers continue to drop over the next several months, more cuts will likely be needed.