Missouri Budget
9:15 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Missouri Revenue Drops In April, Raising Questions And Concerns

For Missouri state government’s bottom line, April wasn’t a great month.

And that fact could throw a last-minute wrench into the General Assembly’s final tinkering with the state budget for the coming fiscal year, which must be on Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk by next Friday.

stacks of money
Credit sxc.hu

On Friday, state Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced that net general-revenue collections — the money used to pay for most state services — had dropped 5 percent in April, compared to April 2013. That’s a decline of $50 million, and comes atop of several months of roller coaster revenue collections. In January, they were sharply down, then shot back up in February.

April’s numbers showed a sharp decline of 13.5 percent in revenue from individual income tax collections.  That’s because individual income tax filings, filed in April for the 2013 tax year,  showed a sharp drop in what people owed in state taxes.  Ironically, Luebbering said that taxes withheld from current workers’ paychecks rose 5 percent for month.

Luebbering said she was heartened that sales tax collections also were up in April by 7.7 percent, compared to April 2013.

For the entire fiscal year, which runs through June 30, the state’s general-revenue income is up .5 percent over the previous fiscal year (FY2013). The tally so far this fiscal year is $6.7 billion in general revenue, compared to $6.67 billion for the 2013 fiscal year. 

But the current budget had been based on an overall year increase of 2.1 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year.

Luebbering emphasized in an interview that the current budget, fiscal year 2014, which runs through June 30, is not in danger. That’s because the state ended fiscal year 2013 with a hefty surplus.

What Luebbering is concerned about is the coming fiscal year’s budget, now getting its final touches from the Missouri General Assembly.  Legislative fiscal leaders based their budget on an increase of 2.1 percent for fiscal year 2015, while the Nixon administration’s initial proposal counted on revenue increases totaling 2.8 percent.

The chief reason for April’s general-revenue decline was a sharp drop of 13.5 percent in revenue from individual income tax collections.  That’s because individual income tax filings, filed in April for the 2013 tax year,  showed a sharp drop in what people owed in state taxes.

On the plus side, Luebbering said she was heartened that sales tax collections were up in April by 7.7 percent, compared to April 2013.

Here’s the overall general-revenue tallies for April:

GROSS COLLECTIONS BY TAX TYPE

Individual income tax collections

  • Decreased 0.8 percent for the year, from $5.35 billion last year to $5.31 billion this year.
  • Decreased 13.5 percent for the month.

Sales and use tax collections

  • Increased 3.6 percent for the year from $1.55 billion last year to $1.61 billion this year.
  • Increased 7.7 percent for the month.

Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections

  • Increased 7.1 percent for the year, from $404.8 million last year to $433.8 million this year.
  • Decreased 1.7 percent for the month.

All other collections

  • Decreased 14.6 percent for the year, from $371.6 million last year to $317.4 million this year.
  • Increased 4.2 percent for the month.

Refunds

  • Decreased 4.7 percent for the year, from $1.01 billion last year to $967.7 million this year.
  • Decreased 38.3 percent for the month.