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Good news in revenues
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The October state revenues continued the positive trend coming in at a positive gain of 8.2 percent, or $92 million, over October of 2009. Of course, we should always remember that this is a slight increase over a calamitous low water mark of one year ago. But as they say in football or in Regents votes, a win is a win.
Individual income tax collections for October came in at 4.1 percent over last year, which is certainly not anything to shout from the rooftops about, but positive all the same. This category totaled $635.7 million for the month.
Sales tax collections for the state increased 7.4 percent, or about $29.4 million. Local governments’ portion was down -8.7 percent, or almost $29 million.
Corporate income taxes, usually tracked more accurately on a quarterly basis, were down 10.5 percent, or $513,000.
Motor fuel taxes continued a positive trend with fuel sales taxes increasing $10.9 million, or 37.5 percent, but excise taxes (by the gallon) declining $1.7 million, or down 4.7 percent.

Year to date figures slightly ahead of budget
Total state revenues are up for the one third of the year, July-October, by 7.6 percent. So far, the state has taken in $355.2 million more than the same period from last year. This figure is a little ahead of the approximately 5 percent growth needed in the FY2011 budget and works out to approximately $100 million above projections. While being slightly ahead is better than being behind projections, $100 million does not begin to fill the hole left by the end of the federal stimulus funds, the FMAP extension expiration and formulas projected to increase because of population increases. 
But here are the positive numbers YTD:
Individual income tax collections are up year to date by $194.8 million, or 8.2 percent. 
Sales taxes collections for the state are up YTD by $119 million, or 7.5 percent. The local government distribution is down YTD by -1.8 percent.
Overall, gross state sales tax collections are up 4.5 percent.
Corporate income taxes at the one-third year point are down -33.1 percent. 
Motor fuel taxes overall YTD are up 19.3 percent, or a total of $51.4 million, an encouraging sign. Motor fuel sales taxes are up 39.9 percent YTD, or $46.7 million, and excise taxes are up 3.2 percent, or $4.7 million.
Tobacco taxes YTD are down -4.3 percent but total only $66 million and alcohol taxes are down -1.3 percent and total only $57.8 million.

Year to date trends
Individual withholding payments are up $18 million or 0.7 percent. The refund totals paid out are skewed at $207 million because of the refunds that were paid late a year ago. The good news is that refunds are down another $40 million or so beyond the carry over amount.
Even beyond the backlog of sales tax returns of a year ago, taking that $28 million into account, sales tax collections are still increasing year to date by over $9 million. Within sales tax categories, all are up YTD except home furnishings and manufacturing sales.

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