Mo. Revenue Up in August, No Budget Cuts Loom
COLUMBIA - Missourians are finding work again, leading the way for a rare bright spot for state revenue.
Overall revenue rose 0.8 percent in August, although the numbers are still down for the entire fiscal year, which started in July.
Last month's positive result means Gov. Jay Nixon probably will not have to cut the state's budget this year, said Linda Luebbering, the governor's budget director. After two years of gloomy numbers, Luebbering said individual income taxes were up nearly 4 percent as about 8,000 more Missourians have found work since March.
"We have definitely seen one declining month after another, and to have it actually be positive for a change is that sign that maybe things are starting to turn around a little bit," she said.
August's gains don't erase July's losses, leaving Missouri in the red for the first two months of the fiscal year.
Sales tax, another major part of the overall revenue numbers, was flat. August sales tax is typically high because it is prime-time for back-to-school shopping. It indicates Missourians are still leery about spending money in the downturn, Luebbering said.
Even with the conflicting numbers, Luebbering says she is sticking with her estimate of 2.3 percent growth for the entire fiscal year, which ends next June.