State revenue collections down in August

Friday, September 11, 2009 | 5:55 p.m. CDT; updated 3:06 p.m. CDT, Sunday, September 13, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY - State revenue collections decreased for the second straight month this fiscal year, State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced $430 million in budget cuts in June. A decision pertaining to any additional withholdings and in which areas they would occur will not be made until revenue figures are released for September.

The cuts that occurred in June were across the board, including the elimination of full-time positions.

House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County, who described the figures as "a significant decrease in revenue," said he expects more budget cuts to come.

"I fully expect (fiscal) 2010 to be a dismal year when it comes to revenue," Icet said.

Missouri collected $589.5 million in net revenue for the month of August, a decline of 4.1 percent compared to August 2008. For the overall fiscal year, collections have declined by 5.6 percent or over $60 million. August is the second month of the current fiscal year, which began July 1.

Jim Moody, a former state budget director, said he advises caution when comparing August's numbers to those of a year ago. July and August were relatively good months for the economy last year, Moody said. For an accurate comparison, we need to wait and compare numbers for months after the market crashed in September.

Revenue last year decreased by almost 7 percent, well below the expected 4 percent decrease, Luebbering said.

"We do expect revenue to start trending up, the big question is when," Luebbering said. "Until employment picks up, we will not see an improvement in our revenue numbers."

Income taxes provide the largest portion of state revenue collections.

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