No surprises in latest report on state tax receipts

The Legislative Services Agency has released its analysis of state tax receipts for the month of May.  The current state fiscal year started July 1, 2009 and concludes June 30, 2010 — so the report also looks at the trend line for the 11 months of state tax collections (July through the end of May).

The bottom line:  there were no surprises.  Analyst Jeff Robinson of the fiscal services division in the Legislative Services Agency says the numbers are “generally” good in that they match projections.  The projections were made by a three-member panel of financial experts.  Those experts predicted overall state tax collections would be down 8.7 percent.

“Receipts are better than estimated,” Robinson says.  “…The estimate looks safe right now.”  There could be an excess of about $185.6 million above expectations if trends continue in June.  

According to Robinson, the general data about state tax collections shows the economy bottomed out sometime in March and there has been growth in wages since then, which means employed people are either working more hours and/or more unemployed people have found work.  He says state sales tax receipts have shown “positive growth” in the past couple of weeks after stagnating earlier this spring.  That’s an indicator of consumer attitudes, as people are buying more (or perhaps more expensive) “taxable” items.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.