Weak March state revenue can't top 2012 levels

2013-04-05T17:30:00Z 2013-04-06T12:33:07Z Weak March state revenue can't top 2012 levelsDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
April 05, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Indiana's second full month under the administration of Republican Gov. Mike Pence produced the state's worst monthly revenue result in nearly a year.

March state revenue totaled $919.9 million. That's $80 million less than predicted by the December 2012 revenue forecast and a whopping $119.3 million, or 11.5 percent, below what Indiana took in during March 2012.

The most recent larger year-over-year monthly drop was a 17.5 percent decline in May 2012. But that followed greater-than-expected revenue in April 2012 when income tax payments helped beat the prior year by 25.4 percent.

This March, the state's two largest revenue sources, sales and income taxes, both failed to beat their revenue totals for the same month a year ago.

The last time that happened was February 2010 as Indiana was pulling out of the worst of the Great Recession.

Last month's sales tax revenue totaled $521.5 million, which was $12.6 million below expectations and nearly 2 percent less than March 2012.

Personal income taxes brought in $239.4 million, which was $53 million less than forecast and a 29 percent drop compared with March 2012.

State Budget Director Chris Atkins put a positive spin on the monthly revenue report. He said that for the budget year that started in July, Indiana's revenue is up 2 percent overall compared with 2012, with sales tax revenue up 2.5 percent and income tax revenue up 3 percent.

Pence is continuing to push state lawmakers to reduce the income tax rate to 3.06 percent from 3.4 percent, a 10 percent reduction that would shrink state revenue by $500 million a year.

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