The budget balancing that lies ahead for Gov.-elect Phil Bryant and the 2012 Mississippi Legislature just got tougher.
The monthly report from the Department of Revenue shows that Mississippi’s November revenue collections fell below the estimate by 1.5 percent, or almost $4.9 million less than anticipated.
Adding to the difficulty of the balancing act is a projected decline of about $200 million in federal funding for the state. That amount could grow once automatic federal budget cuts kick in as part of the federal budget ceiling compromise reached in August between President Obama and Congress.
In his comments on November revenue declines, Gov. Haley Barbour said state income tax collections fell the sharpest.
“Our national economy continues to be sluggish,” he said. “The state’s economy is no different. Individual income tax receipts are down 7.2 percent below what was expected for the month, which is of particular concern. “
While the legislation would offer no immediate relief, Congress is considering a bi-partisan measure that would require large Internet retailers to collect sales taxes on their transaction and presumably remit proportionate shares to the states.
Estimates are that Mississippi would gain an additional $300 million a year in sales tax revenue if cyber sales were included.
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