State revenue up for first time in 19 months - - Jackson, MS

State revenue up for first time in 19 months

By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - For the first time in 19 months, revenue projections in the state are up.

The State Tax Commission shows that funds for the end of March are up over $6 million.

This is mostly because of corporate and gaming taxes that have each topped out over 20 percent.

Budget Committee Member, Senator Dean Kirby says part of this spike could have trickled down from February.

"We know that some of these numbers that came in, in March actually were late getting in because of a short February," Kirby said.

The Tax Commission said even with one month up, the yearly revenues are still down.

"We're still 241 million below the year to date for the general fund, which is seven and a half percent," said Tax Commission Communications Director Kathy Waterbury.

Meanwhile, appliance retailer Cowboy Maloney's in Jackson has seen a significant increase in business.

"We do know that things are looking a little better. We're more excited we're doing some things. We've opened two new stores in the last three months," Co-Owner Conn Maloney said.

Waterbury says that when corporate taxes are up, often it means that business refund requests are less.

"They're requesting less refund than they did last year, which means we have more money going into the general fund instead the refund account."

However, even though corporate taxes were up, sales tax projections were below at 5.5 percent.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have estimated the 2011 fiscal year budget to be around $5.5 billion dollars. This is about $500 million less than what was projected for the 2010 budget.

The legislature has recessed until April 20th, where they are waiting to see if additional federal stimulus funds that would go to Medicaid is heading to Mississippi.

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