Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Georgia tax collections drop again

Tax collections for the state fell again in October compared to the same month in the previous fiscal year, according to figures released Monday by Gov. Sonny Perdue's office.

Collections were off 18 percent, or 15 percent for the first four months of the fiscal year.

One group called for tax increases to prevent further cuts, but Mr. Perdue's staff said emergency action isn't needed.

Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said the governor already has cut $900 million from the budget he signed into law in April, so deeper cuts are not necessarily imminent. The numbers look bad, he said, because the drop in collections caused by the recession hadn't hit in October 2008.
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, an independent think tank, said action is required and recommended taxes be raised to stave off further cuts.

"Georgia cannot cut its way to prosperity," the institute wrote in a statement. "The governor and General Assembly must look to raise revenues, as a majority of states have done, including a majority of our conservative Southern neighbors."

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