Revenues for the state are up, but they are still not where they need to be. That’s the message State Rep. Greg Snowden (R) of Meridian had for members of the Council of Governments on Monday.
“It’s modestly good news as far as our revenues go,” Snowden said. “Mississippi’s revenues are almost six percent from 2012 over 2011 so we’ve had some revenue growth.”
On the down side, he said, the increased revenues are needed because the state’s economy has still not recovered from the nationwide downturn that began in 2008.
“Things are picking up. We are slowly but surely improving revenue-wise, but we are still going to have challenging budgets for the next several years,” Snowden said.
According to a report from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, on which Snowden serves, year-to-date collections through the end of June are nearly $270 million, which is almost six percent more than was expected. Sales tax collections are nearly $38 million, which is about two percent more than expected. Individual income tax collections are $100 million, which is about seven percent higher than expected and corporate income taxes are nearly $74 million, which is about 17 percent more than anticipated.
Snowden said a major variable in the state’s budget over the coming years will be the effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Among other mandates, the health care act directed states to provide Medicare to people living up to 133 percent of the poverty level. In Mississippi, Snowden said, that would affect a lot of people. However, the June ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court removed that requirement from the states.