The state Department of the Treasury's “September 2010 Net Receipts Report” shows that to-date state revenues for 2010-2011 (July - September) are $1.707 billion, for a decrease of $140 million or 8 percent compared to fiscal year 2009-2010. Total revenues this time last year were $1.847 billion, which was $320 million less than the prior year, a decline of 15 percent.
Already the Jindal administration is facing the new reality that an additional $108 million will have to be cut from the current-year state budget after Louisiana finished the recently ended fiscal year (June 30) in the red. Lawmakers recently learned that deep cuts made last year were not enough to balance the budget. Last week Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater placed most of the deficit blame on corporate income tax during the 2009-10 fiscal year falling far below what was anticipated — a decline that has accelerated this year.
This means the state spent more money than it collected in taxes during the 2009-10 fiscal year, and the governor has until the end of this fiscal year to cut spending in order to make up for the deficit. Rainwater hopes to have a deficit-reduction plan ready by the end of the month.
Below is the breakdown of current fiscal year to-date receipts that are contributing to the 8 percent overall decline in state revenues so far this year: •General sales tax cash receipts are $647 million, an increase of $14 million or 2 percent compared to last year. General sales tax cash receipts this time last year were $633 million, which was $122 million less than the prior year, a decrease of 16 percent. •Individual income tax cash receipts are $621 million, a decrease of $51 million or 8 percent compared to last year. Individual income tax cash receipts this time last year were $672 million, which was $6 million less than the prior year, a decrease of 1 percent. •General severance tax cash receipts are $185 million, a decrease of $10 million or 5 percent compared to last year. General severance tax cash receipts this time last year were $195 million, which was $150 million less than the prior year, a decrease of 43 percent. •Corporation and franchise tax cash receipts are $45 million, a decrease of $91 million or 67 percent compared to last year. Corporation and franchise tax cash receipts this time last year were $136 million, which was $8 million less than the prior year, a decrease of 6 percent. •Gasoline and special fuels tax cash receipts are $157 million, an increase of $5 million or 3 percent compared to last year. Gasoline and special fuels cash receipts this time last year were $152 million, which was $17 million less than the prior year, a decrease of 10 percent. •Miscellaneous taxes cash receipts are $52 million, for a decrease of $7 million or 12 percent compared to last year. Miscellaneous taxes cash receipts this time last year were $59 million, which was $17 million less than the prior year, a decrease of 22 percent.
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AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
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