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State income declines again in July, but decrease is smaller

Missouri's monthly income numbers continued their decline in July, but state Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the 4.2 percent drop -- compared to July 2009 -- was not unexpected.

"We're actually about right on track," Luebbering said in an interview today.

The current state budget, for the fiscal year that began on July 1, is based on an annual income increase of 2.3 percent. But Luebbering said said that budget crafters "knew we were going to start the year in the negative."

According to her office: "July 2010 net general revenue collections declined 4.2 percent compared to July 2009, from $469.1 million last year to $449.3 million this year."

The new monthly numbers will not trigger any additional withholdings or cuts by Gov. Jay Nixon, she said.

Even so, Luebbering acknowledged two "troubling'' figures in the state's monthly income report:

-- A decline of almost 1 percent in the state's withholding tax income, compared to a year ago. Withholding taxes are taken out of salaries and wages. For the last few months, Missouri has seen a withholding tax increase -- one of the reasions why this year's budget predicts any sort of income increase.

-- A drop of just under 10 percent in the state's sales and use tax collections. The decline comes after a three-month increase.

The sales-tax drop, which the budget chief called "disappointing," signals that Missourians are continuing to hold off on major purchases, she said.

The July overall figure, while down, was far less than the double-digit declines that the state saw throughout 2009, compared to 2008.

Still, this year's monthly figures are being closely watched, in the wake of Luebbering's previous report last month that state departments and agencies need to prepare for potentially severe cuts of close to $1 billion in the 2012 budget, which begins next July 1, because of the end in federal stimulas aid that has softened the state's cuts during the last two years.


Individual income tax collections

Decreased 0.6 percent from $325.9 million last year to $323.9 million this year. (Includes withholding as well as tax payments by people who are self-employed).

Sales and use tax collections

Decreased 9.7 percent from $141.6 million last year to $127.8 million this year.

Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections

Increased 14.7 percent from $22.9 million last year to $26.3 million this year.

All other collections

Increased 41.8 percent from $24.7 million last year to $35.0 million this year.


Increased 38.5 percent from $46.0 million last year to $63.7 million this year.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.