JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The most recent Missouri revenue report confirms what state officials have been saying for months: The state's general revenue totals are beginning to reflect a national economic slowdown.
The Department of Revenue's January tax collection totals show the first monthly revenue decline since the state's fiscal year got under way seven months ago.
All three of the state's major revenue-producing categories -- individual and corporate income levies and sales taxes -- recorded declines last month, resulting in a $43.5 million decrease compared to January 2001.
For last month, sales and use tax collections decreased 4.1 percent when compared to January last year, while individual income tax payments were down 9 percent for the same period.
Corporate income tax collections for the month decreased 13.2 percent, a figure large enough that state economists are now predicting even larger shortfalls in both the sales tax and individual income tax collections for at least the next several months.
The fourth-largest revenue category -- inheritance and estate taxes -- dropped 7.9 percent last month from collections in January 2001.
The year-to-date total for this category is $88.1 million, down 6.4 percent from February 2001.
Positive fiscal year
Figures for the current fiscal year, which began July 1, have been positive. Collections in all 15 general revenue categories reached $3.7 billion for the first seven months of FY 2002, compared to $3.6 billion for FY 2001. The result is an overall gain of $111.4 million for the year-to-date total.
All other collections that provide major funding for Missouri's principal program and departmental expenditures posted a 14.6 percent loss for last month, although year-to-date funds remain 5.1 percent ahead of the same period last year.
Revenue statistics for the last three months are also positive, showing net general revenue collections ahead by 1.3 percent.
Considered by some as a gauge of Missourians' economic mood, beer tax collections for the month registered a 7.8 percent increase, while revenue from the state's liquor tax went up 6.4 percent in January.
The largest percentage tax increase occurred in the county foreign insurance category, which experienced a 1,296.8 percent increase while only collecting $70,272 during January.
Out-of-state insurance firms selling policies in Missouri pay into this fund, which normally adds about $1 million to annual general revenue collections.