Mike Klein Online

Georgia Tax Collections Solidly Up But Jobs Remain Elusive For Many

Mike Klein

Georgia state tax collections are solidly on the upswing but other economic data indicates jobs are still being lost and the state’s economy is slow putting people back to work.

Governor Nathan Deal’s office reported January revenue increased $117 million compared to last year.  This is Georgia’s eighth straight positive report of year-to-year improved revenue.  The fiscal year that began last July is up $705 million or 8.1%.  Deal said revenue gains will be largely devoted to education priorities.

January’s total year-to-year revenue is $9.4 billion compared to $8.7 billion one year ago.  But year-to-year state tax collections remain lower than three of four previous fiscal years:   $9.85 billion in January 2009, $10.48 billion in January 2008 and $10.18 billion in January 2007.

The largest increase last month came from $94 million more paid in individual income taxes even though statewide unemployment remains high at 10.2%, well above the 9% national average.  Also, the U.S. Department of Labor recently reported 10,335 Georgians filed initial unemployment claims during the week that ended January 22.  That was the highest weekly total reported by any state.

Georgia Department of Labor officials have said statewide re-employment will improve fastest in education, health care, leisure, hospitality and other business services.  The slowest return-to-work is expected in construction, financial activities, retail trade and manufacturing.

Georgia legislators are working to plug an estimated $2 billion gap in the next budget caused in part because the state will lose $1.2 billion in current fiscal year federal stimulus funding.

Mike Klein is Editor at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

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February 9, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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