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Government, Politics & Issues

Latest Missouri revenue numbers show slower growth in October

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri state government is seeing its coffers continue to grow – although arguably at a slower pace -- thanks to continued increases in individual and corporate income tax collections, plus a bump in sales taxes.

In essence, that’s the portrait painted by the state’s latest revenue numbers released Monday.

The state’s budget for this fiscal year, which began July 1, is based on a projected revenue increase of 3.1 percent. So far, the state’s revenue growth is lagging slightly behind, at 2.5 percent. In money terms, as of Oct. 30, the state had collected $60 million more in general revenue for the current fiscal year, compared to a year ago.

That slower growth could become a factor when the General Assembly reconvenes in January because it is likely to become embroiled in a new effort to cut state taxes. The state ended the last fiscal year with a slight surplus, which was used primarily to beef up the state government’s underfunded reserves.

For October, Missouri’s net general-revenue collections increased by 1.7 percent compared to October 2012. That percentage is only a quarter of the growth that the state saw in September. That raises the question of whether the drop in October growth was tied to the federal government shutdown from Oct. 1-17.

Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering wasn’t prepared to make that connection, although she acknowledged that some of the lower October revenue numbers “are stark’’ when compared to September.

Instead, Luebbering said that some of September’s numbers – notably sharply higher sales-tax growth (up 16.1 percent) – may have been one-time anomalies that skewed any comparisons with October.

The state budget chief preferred to focus on what she saw as good news in the October numbers. Individual income tax collections were up 3.9 percent – in line with the overall growth this fiscal year of 3.8 percent.

And state revenue from corporate income taxes increased 18 percent during October, which was seen as highly encouraging although it is lower than the overall corporate-tax growth this fiscal year of 26.4 percent.

The higher corporate tax collections, said Luebbering, reflected higher corporate profits.

Here is the state of Missouri’s official fiscal breakdown as of October 30.

GROSS COLLECTIONS BY TAX TYPE

Individual income tax collections

  • Increased 3.8 percent for the year, from $1.68 billion last year to $1.74 billion this year.
  • Increased 3.9 percent for the month.

Sales and use tax collections

  • Increased 4.4 percent for the year, from $617.5 million last year to $644.8 million this year.
  • Increased 2.2 percent for the month.

Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections

  • Increased 26.4 percent for the year, from $129.9 million last year to $164.3 million this year.
  • Increased 18.0 percent for the month.

All other collections

  • Decreased 37.0 percent for the year, from $165.7 million last year to $104.3 million this year.
  • Decreased 59.8 percent for the month.

Refunds

  • Increased 2.1 percent for the year, from $168.1 million last year to $171.7 million this year.
  • Decreased 4.3 percent for the month.

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