Missouri government could be short another $100 million

Friday, November 16, 2001

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri government could face a shortfall of more than $100 million because of slumping tax revenues partly blamed on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the state budget chief said Friday.

State income tax withholdings, while still growing compared to last year, are about 25 percent lower than projections; state sales tax collections also are slightly below forecasts, said Brian Long, the budget director for Gov. Bob Holden.

"I foresee difficult times ahead for the Missouri budget," Long told reporters at the Capitol.

The revenue figures are based on tax collections through Oct. 31 and provide the first short-term glimpse of the state's fiscal condition after the attacks.

Missouri's budget was in trouble even before Sept. 11. Citing a slowing economy, Holden vetoed about $36 million from the state's $19.2 billion budget before it ever took effect.

Since the July 1 start of the state fiscal year, Holden has withheld another $323 million that had been budgeted for state agencies.

Any additional budget cuts probably won't be made until after the annual mid-year budget analysis that occurs in December, Long said.

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