The revenue report for the first month of the state’s 2012 fiscal year was released today. Experts say even though it exceeded budget projections, it’s still important to remember the figures represent only one month.
The state collected about $1 billion in July. That’s an 11 percent increase over the same month a year ago.
Both sales tax and individual income tax collections were higher than last year – sales taxes about seven percent higher than July, 2010, and income taxes more than 15 percent higher.
The billion-dollar figure also represents a collection of more than $23 million forecasters didn’t expect. Still, IU public and environmental affairs professor John Mikesell, who helped prepare the revenue forecast, says that doesn’t necessarily mean the state now has a lot of extra money. He says the state was already expecting an increase over last year.
“If you look at that forecast upon which the budget was built versus the result from that year — this fiscal year — the increase is only 2.3 percent,” says Mikesell, “so it’s not a very large increase from what the state was expecting.”
July’s collections do follow a trend of higher-than-projected revenue collections than expected. Mikesell says it’s still a time to be fiscally responsible.
“It’s far better than many other states are faring,” he says, “but we’re not finished with our economic problems in the nation and probably as a state as a whole.”
The state maintains a reserve of about $1.2 billion.