Archive for July 17, 2009

Report: States saw significant revenue decline in first quarter

A report from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute on Government says states experienced “widespread and sharp declines”  in tax revenue in the first quarter of 2009.

From the highlights:

  • Total state tax revenue fell by 12.6 percent in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the same quarter a year earlier, based on data for 47 early-reporting states. Forty-five of these states had declines in total tax collections.
  • Personal income tax revenue fell sharply and represented the bulk of the decline, with a 15.8 percent year-over-year decrease. This is the largest such decline since 2002.
  •  Sales tax collections continued their fall with a decline of 7.6 percent, while corporate tax collections dropped 16.2 percent. This is the second quarter in a row that revenue from all three major sources declined.
  •  Many states are already reporting even further revenue shortfalls in the second quarter of 2009 on personal income tax returns due in April.
  •  The employment picture for the quarter was sharply and broadly negative. The number of jobs fell in every one of the 50 states, and most showed declines of more than 1 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Read the full report (.pdf) here.


'Commission to find ways to cut state government'

A legislatively-created panel intended to develop a plan for shrinking state government will hold its first meeting on July 27.

The first meeting is expected to be organizational and will elect officers and set a course for work.

The new law calls for the panel to make its initial report to lawmakers and the governor no later than Dec. 15. The commission must prepare its recommendations on reorganizing state government by Jan. 4. Legislative committees must review the plans for possible reorganization by Feb. 1 for possible action at next year’s legislative session.

The Commission on Streamlining Government is charged with examining each state agency’s activities, functions, programs, services, powers and responsibilities to determine which ones can be eliminated, streamlined, consolidated or possibly turned over to the private sector.