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Tax collections tumbling

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour is urging state agencies to closely monitor expenditures as general fund collections fell $26.2 million, or 11.27 percent, below expectations for July 2009.

“State tax collections in July were much lower than anticipated,” Barbour said. “We cannot ignore the fact that revenues continue to fall below our expectations. State agencies must spend tax dollars responsibly and keep in mind that cuts may be needed in the current fiscal year.”

Revenue for the month fell $56 million, or 21 percent, compared with collections for July 2008. In fiscal year 2009, falling collections caused $200 million to be cut from the $5.6 billion state support budget.

The Legislature approved a $6-billion state support budget for the current FY 2010, which began July 1. The budget includes $523.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Barbour has warned that revenues through FY 2012 may fall below expectations.

“The effects of the current recession will continue to impact the state budget in the months and years to come,” Barbour said. “Mississippi faces serious budget problems. State agencies will have to live within their means while we keep a balanced, conservative budget in tact.”

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