Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to release $132 million withheld from the current budget was influenced, in part, by the rosier state revenue collections in February, his budget chief says.
State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced Tuesday that net general revenue collections for February shot up 17.3 percent ($69 million), compared to February 2013. That strong showing follows several months of less-than-stellar revenue numbers, particularly in January.
Nixon acted a few days ago to release his final bloc of withheld money for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. The released $132 million is to be used for improvements and repairs for the state Capitol building, as well as other state office space. It also includes $12.5 million for state park improvements.
Nixon “certainly has been monitoring revenue as part of that decision to release” the money, Luebbering said. “Yes, it certainly was part of the reason, taking a look at revenue and making sure the governor felt comfortable that there would be sufficient revenue for all the appropriations. And he clearly has said all the capital stuff would come last.”
The state Office of Administration is still developing the details of how the money will be spent to improve state office space, and restore the historic Capitol, she said.
The improved February numbers largely came from increases in collections from individual state income taxes (up 6.6 percent compared to a year ago), and state sales taxes (up 7 percent.)
Overall, state general-revenue collections for the current fiscal year are up 2 percent ($100 million) compared to the same period a year ago. That’s slightly lower than the revised estimate of 2.1 percent used to craft the current budget, but Luebbering said any shortfall will be covered by the unexpected surplus at the end of the previous fiscal year (FY2013), which remains in the bank.
State budget officials are monitoring February's sharp decline in corporate tax collections, to see if it is related to the phase-out of the state's corporate franchise tax, or for some other reason, Luebbering said.
Here’s the breakdown of February’s general-revenue numbers:
GROSS COLLECTIONS BY TAX TYPE
Individual income tax collections
- Increased 2.5 percent for the year, from $3.71 billion last year to $3.80 billion this year.
- Increased 6.6 percent for the month.
Sales and use tax collections
- Increased 4.1 percent for the year from $1.26 billion last year to $1.31 billion this year.
- Increased 7.0 percent for the month.
Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections
- Increased 14.1 percent for the year, from $251.2 million last year to $286.7 million this year.
- Decreased 34.2 percent for the month.
All other collections
- Decreased 20.7 percent for the year, from $283.3 million last year to $224.6 million this year.
- Decreased 4.4 percent for the month.
- Increased 3.9 percent for the year, from $564.8 million last year to $586.6 million this year.
- Decreased 10.9 percent for the month.