State revenue collections fall again after one-month reprieve

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.

20 comments Add your comment

SickOfGa

May 7th, 2010
2:47 pm

Having consulted with the state of georgia for 5 years, this isn’t rocket science and it’s a good thing it isn’t with the current crop of deadbeat politicians we now have in office. A 17+ billion dollar is ridiculous. First, fire the dead wood in state government – lots of it. Second, reduce departmental budgets, starting at 10% and give department executives incentives (you get to keep your job) to cut their budgets. Get rid of all cars for all state employees and all politicians. All state employees get a mandatory 10% pay reduction. Eliminate all raises and pay increases in state government. Reduce pay for all state ’service’ employees, all teachers and the state patrol. Finally, institute a one time, 3 year tax increase to top out at 15% on anyone making over 500k/yr. This will be a start in balancing the budget.

Elle

May 7th, 2010
3:09 pm

Georgia’s streak of positive revenue collections ended at one.
___________________________________________________________

Well, Georgia’s doing beter than I am because I haven’t even had ONE yet.

Carter is a Fool

May 7th, 2010
3:12 pm

Let’s cut Governor GoFish.

tt

May 7th, 2010
3:16 pm

Enter your comments here

whybother

May 7th, 2010
3:18 pm

why bother answering this? the mods censor most replies.

45325234534

May 7th, 2010
3:18 pm

Enter your comments here

sarge

May 7th, 2010
3:27 pm

and our “genius” legislators recently gave away at least 100 million by doing away with the 1/4 mill the state was getting from ad valorem tax.
These guys truly have no clue.

The Cynical White Boy

May 7th, 2010
3:40 pm

Why worry? Oh-blah-blah will invite all of us up to the White House for a beer and that will solve everything.

Aaron Gould Sheinin

May 7th, 2010
3:42 pm

“why bother anaswering this? the mods censor most replies.” @whybother, 3:18 p.m.

No, I don’t actually.

BirdFan

May 7th, 2010
3:58 pm

sarge, to whom did they “give-away” this $100 Million? Oh, that’s right they allowed real live Georgians to keep their own money.

PersonWithABrain

May 7th, 2010
4:03 pm

Thankfully the hooligan legislators passed the roadkill bill so we can now aim for anything that crosses the street, run it over, take it home, and eat it. Yay GA!

David S

May 7th, 2010
4:14 pm

And yet state spending never really falls.

PatrickRW

May 7th, 2010
4:22 pm

So, Chicken Little’s tale was only 50 percent correct? His oracle mistakenly referenced the sky was falling when it was, in reality, the state’s revenue. Not bad for a fable?

mikedawg

May 7th, 2010
4:31 pm

SickofGA: maybe we should start this program of austerity by cutting out consultants!

steve

May 7th, 2010
5:19 pm

Why did Georgia pass a law to exempt anyone over 65 from paying any State Income tax most people 65 are still very active and use all the services the state of Georgia provides this is a terrible law. We cut out the low income credit and exempt out the rich people over 65 this is just crazy. Mr David S State spending does fall we went from a 21 billion budget in 2008 to 17.5 budget in 2011. Try to get your facts straight Gerogia has one of the lowest budget per populationslook it up..

ScienceTeacher671

May 7th, 2010
10:41 pm

I don’t know if anyone has bothered to do the math, but if you furlough state employees, revenue collections will fall, because those employees won’t be paying as much in payroll taxes, and they won’t be able or willing to spend as much.

I realize that the state will also have smaller expenditures, but this article only discusses REVENUES….and payroll deductions and sales taxes will decrease if many people are furloughed or fired.

tiffany

May 8th, 2010
12:04 am

So glad you are a science teacher and not a math teacher. Cause thats the dumbest thing i’ve ever read.

ScienceTeacher671

May 9th, 2010
9:52 am

Tiffany, if you’re so smart, please explain why furloughing state employees will not reduce revenues to the state.

Each time I get paid, the state takes a certain percentage of money out of my check in payroll taxes. If I’m paid less (which is what happens when I’m furloughed) the state gets less money, too.

If I’m paid nothing (which is what happens if my job is eliminated) the state gets nothing either.

If I can’t afford to go shopping, I don’t pay sales taxes, and state revenues are down, plus the local stores don’t have as much business.

I await your words of wisdom.

steve

May 10th, 2010
10:21 am

SickofGa: Its your mentality that helps prolong this mess; Low revenues, so just cut state employees! Cut state employees adds to more unemployment and loss of services. Departments have already taken massive cuts, with employees being furloughed and having no raises. Why should state employees carry the burden of this recession? How about spreading the pain and finding a real solution to the revenue problem.
Increase tobacco taxes for one..Georgia has one of the lowest tob tax rates in the US. How about raising the sales tax temporarily one percent? How about raising the alcohol tax? There are ways out of this recession without letting go of state employees and teachers, but its easy for Joe Public to say “let the state employees pay”, why should I contribute. It never worked before, and wont work now.

You Asked

May 10th, 2010
11:31 am

Fire the bitter consultants. That should be a significant savings right there.

Some facts for the data impaired consultant…

Georgia 2008 Tax Comparison to other states (source US census data):

Population Rank #10
Tax Revenue per person #43
Tax Expenditure per person #46
Debt per person #49
Tax Burden per person # 42
Personal Income per person # 34
Government Employees per citizen # 43
Government Payroll per citizen # 46

Georgia is no where near overtaxed or overbudgeted. The biggest waste can be found in agencies receiving matching federal funds which they need to justify with federally mandated programs and rules. Most state agencies have been paring back for years.