Home arrow NewsBreak arrow 2009 Archives arrow Senator Jack Hill's "Notes From The Senate"
Senator Jack Hill's "Notes From The Senate"
Thursday, 09 April 2009


March revenues released this week declined 14.3% or -$167 million.  The last four months have averaged over a $200 million decline, so the rate of decrease is less.  But, if the present trend continues, the state will not make the 09 budgeted target and state reserves of only $562 million will be drained.


Individual income taxes, half of revenues, continue to show sharp declines this month at minus 18.8%.  This revenue source contains employee withholding taxes and taxes by small businesses and individuals.


Sales tax collections declined by 14.4%.  Corporate tax collections were down for the month 23.6% or $37M.  Fuel tax collections declined by $23.4M or 28.6%.


Year to date, total collections show a 8.0% decline which sounds better until you remember we are budgeted at a minus 7% reduction.  Individual Income Taxes show a negative 8.8% for the year, sales taxes a 6.3% decline and corporate taxes are down 35%,


Motor Fuel collections of both excise and sales taxes are down for the year

$77M.  Any shortfalls under budgeted amounts have to be made up from general revenues; or in this year from the Shortfall Reserve Fund.


If the negative trend of the last few months continues, the state will likely use up the majority or all of the $562 million in reserve Funds leaving nothing in reserve for the 2010 budget year.



The FY 2010 state budget passed late Friday, April 3, which contained few additions and continued 8% plus cuts government wide except for k-12 education which took only a 3% cut. The $3.3B hole in the budget was filled by $476M in Reserve funds, $1.2B in Federal stimulus funds, $88M in one-time funds, and $1.3B in cuts to agencies.

This budget:

            --Fully funds Medicaid for the full year per current projections

            --Restores the 10% cut to Hospitals state-wide

            --Restores the 6% cut to Medicaid providers also in the Governor's budget

            --Restores funding for School nurses

            --Continues funding at base salary level for National Board Certified Teachers

            --Contains no cuts that would cause teacher furloughs

            --Does not change present State Health insurance benefits

            --Leaves approximately $1 billion of Federal stimulus funds for the critically    

               short FY 2011 budget

            --Provides 3000 new slots for the Lottery funded Pre-K program--$350 million in

               Lottery funds

            --$1.2 Billion in bonded projects for infrastructure including Ports and Water and

               Sewer Loans and other building projects

            --Funds $297 m in K-12 Capital Outlay school projects

            --$534 million in building projects for Higher Education including $37M for new

               Libraries statewide

            --Restores cuts for services for the elderly for "Meals on Wheels'"

           -- Restores funds for respite care for families of Alzheimers sufferers

           -- Provides additional MRWP waiver slots to “Unlock the Waiting list"

           -- Restores cuts to Public Defenders Council for critical needs

            --Restores funds to protect Wildlife Management Area Federal leases

            --Enhances Consumer Protection inspectors for the Department of Agriculture

            --Contains additional marketing funds for Tourism

            --Gives Department of Natural Resources latitude to manage State Parks, golf

               courses and lodges to be sustainable

            --Budgets for the new Department of Behavioral Health and for the transfer of

               the Public Health Dept to DCH

            --Funds HOPE scholarships of over $500 million for public and private colleges

            --Bonds $100 million in Road projects statewide (additional to $900M in stimulus

               road funds)

            --There are no "pork" or "earmark adds" in this budget


It would be an optimistic view to believe that more budget revisions are not necessary this summer

< Prev   Next >

Copyright © 2014 Southeast Georgia Today Web Portal
This Site is Best Viewed with Screen Resolution of 1024 X 768 Pixels
Website Design & Hosting by Red Wheeler Associates, LLC