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Mo. revenue collections remain sluggish

Mo. Budget Director Linda Luebbering
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Mo. Budget Director Linda Luebbering

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's revenue collections are improving, although they're still generally lower than at this time last year.

Overall revenue for the current Fiscal Year is more than one percent lower than it was a year ago at this time. But income tax collections are nearly two percent higher than last year, and nearly four percent higher than last month.

Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the increases were spurred by a dip in unemployment.

"The unemployment numbers are still high, but even with that, there are a few more people working, and you're seeing that play out on the revenue side when you look at the individual income tax collections," Luebbering said.

Meanwhile, sales tax collections are more than four percent lower than at this time last year. Luebbering blames that on people's reluctance to spend money as they continue to hear bad economic news.

"People are just not spending for obvious reasons, and so our sales tax numbers are continuing to look pretty poor," Luebbering said. "The reason people are cautious is because they still know their neighbor doesn't have a job, or they're still seeing the high unemployment numbers and so it worries them."

Sales tax collections did rise slightly between July and August, inching up 0.3 percent.