Mississippi’s tax collections through January are $23.1 million, or 0.78 percent, above the revenue estimate. The estimate, compiled by legislative leaders, is important because it represents the amount of money budgeted by the Legislature. If collections fall too far below the estimate, Gov. Phil Bryant, often with assistance from the Legislature, is forced to make budget cuts or dip into reserve funds.
For the month of January, collections were $1.2 million, or 0.28 percent, above the estimate.
The estimate being met is a conservative one. The legislative leadership opted to adopt a conservative estimate after multiple years when the collections did not meet the estimate, forcing numerous rounds of budget cuts and in some instances the firing of state employees.
But if current trends continue, legislators might be able to revise upward that conservative estimate. There were some positive numbers in the January collections report. For instance, personal income tax collections were up $71.2 million, or 7.2 percent, for the year.
But sales tax collections, the largest single source of state revenue, continue to be relatively anemic, up $11.7 million, or 1.1 percent. But those numbers were more than offset by revenue from the use tax, which is levied on retail items purchased out of state. Use tax collections were up $24 million, or 18.8 percent.
After multiple tax cuts aimed at businesses, corporate tax collections continue to be sluggish, down $9.5 million, or 4.8 percent, year over year through January.
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