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Missouri General Revenue Income Drops Dramatically In January

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Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio
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State budget director Linda Luebbering

Maybe the snow gets the blame for the state of Missouri’s latest poor financial numbers. This fiscal year’s income numbers are lagging well behind the projected increase needed to balance the state’s budget.

The newer, lower numbers also come as Republican leaders in the Missouri General Assembly are considering several tax-cut proposals.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering acknowledged Wednesday that poor weather in January may have contributed to the sharp decline in general-revenue income – 9.5 percent -- for the month, compared to January 2013.

“If you have really bad weather, people are going to stay home,’’ Luebbering said in an interview. “They’re not going to be out spending.”

That fact was reflected in Missouri’s sales-tax collections in January, down 9.6 percent compared to January 2013 – almost mirroring the overall drop for the month.

January’s poor showing, which comes after several months of slower growth, has contributed to the lower-than-expected general-revenue collection for the current fiscal year. It’s now up only 0.7 percent compared to the revenue collected at the same point in 2013.

The state’s budget hinges on an increase of 2.1 percent for this fiscal year, which runs through June 30. The state constitution requires that the budget be balanced by the end of the fiscal year.

So far, Gov, Jay Nixon hasn’t signaled any plans to withhold budgeted money, which he has done in earlier years when it became necessary.

Conceded Luebbering: “It’s not as good as we would have liked to have seen for the month."

But for the short-term, she's not concerned.

Noting that the state’s income numbers were strong in December, Luebbering continued, “We think (January) was a one-month deal. Obviously, we would like to see continued growth rather than these ups and downs that we’re seeing.”

Even so, she added, “Our thought is, we will continue to pick up steam.”

Here are the state’s latest general-revenue figures.

GROSS COLLECTIONS BY TAX TYPE

Individual income tax collections

  • Increased 1.8 percent for the year, from $3.22 billion last year to $3.28 billion this year.
  • Decreased 2.3 percent for the month.

Sales and use tax collections

  • Increased 3.7 percent for the year from $1.10 billion last year to $1.14 billion this year.
  • Decreased 9.6 percent for the month.

Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections

  • Increased 16.8 percent for the year, from $237.9 million last year to $277.9 million this year.
  • Decreased 26.3 percent for the month. 

All other collections

  • Decreased 22.3 percent for the year, from $259.2 million last year to $201.5 million this year.
  • Decreased 38.0 percent for the month.

Refunds

  • Increased 19.0 percent for the year, from $278.1 million last year to $331.0 million this year.
  • Increased 73.6 percent for the month.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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