Missouri is beginning its new fiscal year on an upswing, with general-revenue income for July – the first month of the fiscal year – up 6.5 percent compared to a year ago.
But state Budget Director Linda Luebbering cautions that state government income is still below where it needs to be if it is to hit the General Assembly’s estimates that legislators used to assemble their approved budget.
State income will need to grow by 10 percent this fiscal year, she said, to hit those legislative targets. She and her boss, Gov. Jay Nixon, predict the state’s growth will be half that. That’s why Nixon made all those budget withholdings a few weeks ago, and vetoed a bunch of tax breaks that the General Assembly had approved during its final days of this spring's session.
The state’s July general-revenue numbers, released Monday, show that income shot up by $31.5 million, compared to July 2013. Some complicated budgetary changes aside, the boost does signal some economic growth, the budget chief said.
The July tally comes after a disappointing June, which found Missouri ending its 2014 fiscal year about $240 million short from what the General Assembly had planned. Nixon was forced to make some last-minute budget cuts because of the state constitution’s balanced-budget mandate.
The July increase appears mainly due to a 9.2 percent hike in the state’s individual income-tax collections. That means that more Missourians are working, and at least some are earning more money.
But on the downside, Luebbering noted that the state’s sales-tax income – another key driver in the state budget – went down slightly in July.
Here’s the latest budget breakdown, as released by the state budget office:
GROSS COLLECTIONS BY TAX TYPE
Individual income tax collections
- Increased 9.2 percent for the year, from $341.9 million last year to $373.4 million this year.
Sales and use tax collections
- Decreased 0.2 percent for the year from $151.3 million last year to $150.9 million this year.
Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections
- Decreased 7.2 percent for the year, from $18.6 million last year to $17.2 million this year.
All other collections
- Increased 32.6 percent for the year, from $15.4 million last year to $20.4 million this year.
- Increased 7.3 percent for the year, from $45.6 million last year to $49.0 million this year.