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Revenues up, for a reason
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The April state revenues registered a positive 34.5 percent, way out of the range for 2008 and 2007.

There was a sharp increase in individual tax returns which has resulted in individual tax payments being deposited much earlier — about $500 million of those returns in April 2008. Apparently the out-sourcing of tax filings has caused this spike in April. So, individual income taxes revenue is up $465 million or 96.7 percent over April 2007.  

There is still uncertainty about the last two months of FY08. The Department of Revenue believes that part or most of this month’s increase will be reflected in lower revenues in May and June.

Therefore, it is difficult to draw any conclusions from April figures except for corporate income taxes and sales taxes.
Corporate income taxes were negative for the month at -27.2 percent, or -$45 million. Year to date corporate income taxes are down -1.5 percent, or -$11 million. January–April 2008, average corporate tax payments are down about 50 percent over January–April 2007.

Sales tax collections were up slightly 0.5 percent for April, or $3 million. Year to date sales tax collections are up by only 0.1 percent, or $3 million. The trend is very flat for the year. So, May and June will determine how the state winds up the year and if the shortfall reserve will have to be used.
Budget vetoes
Gov. Sonny Perdue vetoed some 14 funding items and four bond projects. These totaled  $14.3 million in cash.
They are:
Economic Development
Five year business plan for Georgia Tourism Foundation  - $125,000
Restoration of Augusta Powder Works Chimney - $150,000
National Infantry Museum - $3 million
Economic impact and environmental improvement study for Ga. International and Maritime Trade Center - $250,000

Classroom Technology Initiative - $900,000

Human Resources
Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund - $31,007

Juvenile Justice
“Connecting Henry, Inc.” - $600,000

Public Safety
Columbia County Patrol Post Equipment - $250,000
Special Increase for North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy - $250,000

Board of Regents
Water Policy Centers – Albany State, Georgia Southern University - $360,000
Kennesaw State University program for Disadvantaged Youth - $200,000

Technical and Adult Education
Campus in Catoosa County - $250,000
QuickStart funding for Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) job retraining program for Atlanta Technical College - $25,000

Three airport projects – Paulding, Cherokee and Glynn counties - $5.2 million
Cobb County Charter School - $8 million bonds - $683,200 cash
HB 905 (Bridge Program) - $5 million bonds - $1,155,000 cash

Rail Package – Lyerly to Coosa, Nunez to Vidalia, Ardmore to Sylvania, St. Augustine Road Rail Switching Yard Expansion, and McNatt Boulevard Extension rail crossing – $7.7 million bonds - $657,580 cash

Rabun County Welcome Center - $2 million Bonds - $170,800 Cash

In addition he gave intent of the Executive Branch to “disregard” items of “nonbinding language” with some four items from community health, one from education and one from human resources.

“Disregard” language includes several items in DCH, Community Health Centers in Montgomery, Jones, Clarke and Effingham counties.

Also rate increase language for psychological residential treatment facilities is to be disregarded and an adjustment to pharmacy benefit manager dispensing fees.
DOE – Virtual Foreign Language program for Virtual School -  $384,375
DHR – Per diem cap increase
Law enforcement raises
The 2009 budget included a pay increase package for most law enforcement officers which addressed mid-career (compression) salary schedules which have not kept pace with beginning salary increases through the years.

Additionally, beginning salary increases addressed hiring issues in Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice.
Here are the increases and job titles in various agencies:

Special agents and lab scientists received raises ranging mostly in the 16-21 percent range.

Mid-career employees and Rangers received raises from 16-19 percent.

Correctional officers — starting salaries were raised 14 percent to $27,472 and mid-career officers were given 3.5 percent increases.

Starting salaries for Juvenile Justice correctional officers were raised to that of DOC correctional officers. Other mid-career officers received raises of from 1 percent to 9 percent.

Pardons and Paroles
All parole officers were raised 10 percent as well as mid-career officers.
Apparently, probation officers were not included in pay increases because DOC did not request an adjustment.

In addition to the above raises, all law enforcement officers will receive the 2.5 percent COLA that other state employees will receive. There apparently is a disparity between these officers and other similar jobs.

The Legislature is expected to address this in 2009.