Magazine article American Banker

State Tax Revenues Rise for Third Straight Quarter

Magazine article American Banker

State Tax Revenues Rise for Third Straight Quarter

Article excerpt

Byline: Lynn Hume

WASHINGTON - State tax revenues continued rebounding, rising 3.9% from July through September in the third straight quarter of growth, the Rockefeller Institute of Government reported Tuesday.

The growth was at least partially driven by legislated tax increases in several states, as well as the slowly recovering economy, the group said in the report, which was based on preliminary tax data reported by 48 states.

However, state tax revenue collections remain significantly below peak levels and are still weak in several states, including Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, South Dakota, Virginia, and Alabama, the institute found.

"The state tax revenue picture in the first three quarters of calendar year 2010 represented significant improvement from the collapse of the preceding quarters," the report's co-authors, Lucy Dadayan and Donald Boyd,said in a release.

"In most states the overall trend in tax collections for fiscal 2011 is positive. Still, the immediate outlook is for revenue collections significantly below pre-recession levels and growing spending pressures," they wrote. "The overall picture remains: States will face continued, significant budget challenges in fiscal 2011 and beyond."

According to the report, combined personal income, corporate income and sales tax revenue grew 3.9% for the third quarter in nominal terms compared to the third quarter of 2009, but were 7.0% below the same period two years ago.

After adjusting for inflation, the increase was 2.6%.

The gains were widespread in 42 states, led by North Dakota, with a 29.5% increase, Utah with a 19.9% gain, and West Virginia with a 17.8% increase. However in terms of dollars, New York reported the largest increase, with revenue collections rising $577 million or 4.5%.

Alaska reported the largest quarterly decline, at 48.1% , partly due to declines in oil and gas production taxes stemming from reduced commodity prices and lower production levels, the report said. …

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