Meridian Star

May 3, 2013

Miss. revenue collections down in April

The Associated Press
Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi tax collections were $46 million, or 8.2 percent, below the estimate for the month of April.

Kathy Waterbury, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue, said the majority of drop may be due to timing of receipts and processing.

"We won't know for certain until all of the income tax mail is opened and processed, which should occur this month," Waterbury told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/111QjoN ).

Waterbury said individual income tax collections came in $65.7 million, or nearly 27 percent, below the estimate for the month. The loss was offset in part because of better-than-anticipated collections of corporate income taxes, sales taxes and insurance premium taxes during the month of April.

The estimate — made by legislative leaders upon advice of the state's financial experts — is important because it represents the amount of money available for the Legislature to appropriate. If collections for the year fall below the estimate, the governor could be forced to make cuts or to dip into the state's reserves.

While revenue collections for April were below the estimate, collections are $92.5 million above the estimate for the fiscal year, which ends June 30. The $92.5 million includes a one-time collection of $35.2 million from the settlement of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies by Attorney General Jim Hood.

Tax collections, excluding the $35.2 million in lawsuit settlement funds, are $50.2 million, or 1.32 percent, above what was collected during the same period a year ago.