Saturday, February 8, 2014

Times Reports Winter Chills State Revenues

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

The effects of Indiana's brutal winter, which repeatedly has trapped Hoosiers at home due to extreme cold or snow and kept them from going to work or shopping, are beginning to show up in the state's revenue results.

January state revenue totaled $1.33 billion. That's $38.3 million, or 2.8 percent below the revenue forecast, and $93 million, or 6.5 percent, less than the state took in during January 2013.

The revenue drop could get worse next month when February results are released. Chris Atkins, director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget, said tax collections typically run about a month behind, so the full effect of the frigid winter likely won't be known until March or April.

Nearly every state revenue category failed to hit its January target, including the state's two largest revenue sources: sales taxes and personal income taxes.

January sales tax revenue totaled $645.6 million, which is $15.5 million, or 2.3 percent, less than expected. It's also just $4 million, or 0.6 percent, more than the state took in last January.

Income tax revenue last month was $591.3 million, missing the forecast by $13.2 million, or 2.2 percent. The January 2014 result was $27.6 million, or 4.5 percent, below January 2013, even with thousands more Hoosiers working this year compared to last year.

But the worst overall performer, excluding the now-eliminated inheritance tax, has been riverboat wagering revenue.

Through the first seven months of the state's budget year, taxes on casino bets have brought in only $164.6 million, versus $210.8 million during the same period last year. That's a decline of 21.9 percent.