Tax Collections are Down All Over
In case anyone wondered, things are bad all over.
New York’s Rockefeller Institute released a report Thursday showing state tax collections fell nationwide 16.6 percent during the last three months of the 2009 budget year – the second straight quarter in which revenue fell more sharply than any time in history.
Forty-nine state saw tax dollars plunge – with 36 of them experiencing double-digit percentage declines. Florida, down 12 percent from last year, was among them. Only Vermont showed a slight uptick.
“The depth of the decline right now really is unprecedented in modern times,” said Bob Ward, the institute’s deputy director.
The study found that states hit hardest by the housing bust – Florida, Nevada, Arizona and California – “have been heading downhill since then.” But now, such states as New York and Massachusetts that are reliant on personal income taxes “are suffering much more now” as unemployment climbs.
More trouble, the institute concludes.
Donald Boyd, an author of the report, conceded the nation, “may be at the very beginning of a slow and tepid recovery.” But when federal stimulus dollars disappear in Florida and across the nation in December 2011, “There will be a period of real dire need,” Boyd said.