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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DEC 5 Here's the latest in the contest to see who gets the last word - Attorney General Buddy Caldwell or state Sen. Robert Adley. They're trading "Nuh-uhs" and "Un-huhs" over the issue of contigency contracts for public lawsuits. The guys over at LaPolitics kinda started this urinary competition, and they're posting the latest here.
DEC 5 Here's a post by blogger Walt Bennetti about a $2 million program management contract that Kenner Mayor Michael Yenni plans to award. Bennetti has a problem with no-bid contracts, but they're pretty common, especially for professional services (because really, who wants the cheapest doctor?) But the real problem Bennetti has is with the fact that the entity slated to receive the contract also happened to contribute to Yenni's campaign. Maybe he's just following the governor's lead?
DEC 5 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the really embarassing state of Louisiana's universities in this post. Grambling's football facilites were bad enough to warrant a New York Times photo essay, and he provides a link. And just recently, a concrete roof panel in LSU's College of Art and Design collapsed, closing a portion of the building indefinitely. Is this how we want our state's higher ed institutions to be?
DEC 5 Here's a post on the National Journal about another speech our governor gave to a bunch of people who live in another state. This time, he was ranting about President Obama, energy policies and, of all things, Lady Gaga. Keystone is good, so is fracking, and climate change is a big joke, Bobby says. What did Gaga do? She joined a movement, with people like Yoko Ono, that opposes fracking. Listen up Bobby: you might not want to alienate Gaga. You never know where those little monsters might be hiding -- and how often they vote.
DEC 5 Yesterday, we were perplexed by conflicting stories on the Blade blog and in the Advertiser about Louisiana's National Guard and same-sex partner benefits. The Blade reported that the guard would be paying them; the Advertiser said it would not. This story in the Washington Post clears it up: the benefits will be paid.
DEC 5 Clearly, somebody over at the state Democratic Party is familiar with the process of domain registration. This is the second time they've pulled the rug out from under a Republican candidate by reserving a domain they might want. Last time, it was RiserForCongress.com (hope they didn't pay too much for THAT one). This time it is VitterForGovernor.com, this post on the Politicus USA blog tells us.
DEC 5 Here's a pretty alarming story from WAFB about an announcement by Bobby Jindal's administration that hackers apparently got their hands on some citizens' personal info through JP Morgan Chase, the company that gets paid to send you your tax refund on a debit card. But hey, don't worry, Jindal's people say: there's no indication the hackers used the info "fraudulently." Oh, OK. Whew.
DEC 5 In this week's post, Jim Brown is blogging about Bobby Jindal and what the governor should do to solve his myriad problems. He even describes a phone call he 'received' from the guv asking for advice. Bottom line? Try staying home and doing the job you're supposed to be doing, Jim advises.
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