State Government Finances - May 2008Data and Analysis
State Government Finances
The state's tax revenues for April increased 9.6 percent (on a three-month moving average basis) from a year earlier led by higher individual and property tax revenues that offset declines in corporate and sales taxes. Still, according to the National Conference of State Legislators, Alabama's budget shortfall this year may reach 12.6 percent. Weaker revenue growth over the past year has forced state legislators to cut 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 April remained weak. Total collections declined 10.8 percent (on a three-month moving average basis) from a year earlier.
Total revenue collections in Georgia rebounded strongly in April, increasing 12.7 percent (on a three-month moving average basis) from a year earlier. Gov. Perdue noted in a May 9 press release, "The dramatic rise in revenues this month is primarily the result of process improvements made by the Department of Revenue, including hiring an outside vendor to help process hundreds of thousands of additional payments when compared to this time last year." Revenue growth is expected to slow in coming months and balance out the April spike.
Total tax revenue in Mississippi in April increased 1.9 percent year over year (on a three-month moving average basis). Casino revenue in the state fell 12.8 percent in April from a year earlier to $210 million, down $50 million from March and down $31 million from a year earlier.
Total tax collections in Tennessee declined 1.1 percent in April (on a three-month moving average basis) from a year earlier. This drop is the second and the largest year-over-year drop in tax revenues since 2002. In May the state decreased the $28 billion budget proposed earlier this year by $468 million. Budget cuts include a 5 percent reduction in state employees through a voluntary buyout package.