State Government Finances - April 2008
State Government Finances
The state's tax revenues for March increased 2.4 percent (on a three-month moving average basis) but continued a string of relatively weak readings. Alabama's weaker revenue growth over the past year has forced state legislators to cut state spending programs. Overall funding for state colleges was cut substantially, and officials are reviewing funding for Medicaid and state corrections.
According to data from the Florida Department of Revenue, total tax collections in Florida during March 2008 remained weak. Total collections declined 11.8 percent (on a three-month moving average basis) compared with a year earlier. Sales tax collections in March improved, just slightly ahead of the weak reading of a year earlier.
Total revenue collections in Georgia remained weak in March, declining 3.8 percent (on a three-month moving average basis) from a year earlier. Personal income and sales tax revenue slowed on a year-over-year basis. The governor said he anticipates using some of the state's $1.5 billion reserve fund to finish out the current fiscal year.
The legislature approved a $21 billion budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, compared with the current $20 billion budget. Legislators approved a 2.5 percent pay raise for state employees, basic funding for schools, and numerous local projects. However, a proposed tax cut did not pass. The governor is expected to trim the budget before final approval.
Total tax revenue in Mississippi in March increased 4.1 percent year over year (on a three-month moving average basis). Lawmakers passed a $5 billion budget in April, but Medicaid funding continues to be an issue.
According to data from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, total tax collections in the state were up by less than 1 percent in March (on a three-month moving average basis) from a year earlier, slightly weaker than the February reading. The state missed its March budget target by $64 million and currently has a $276 million budget deficit. Tennessee officials say substantial budget cuts are likely.