Georgia has some lousy trends in terms of jobs right now, but both income taxes and sales taxes suggest increases in average incomes and in consumer spending.
Here’s the latest data for November, with comparisons to November of 2010. There are two lines that I look most closely at: Income Tax – Individual, which shows a 2.6% increase over last year, and Sales and Use Tax – Gross, which shows a stronger 6.9% increase year-over-year.
The income tax collections are not sufficient to account for inflation, but the retail sales collections are pretty good. Here’s the raw data:
It looks like we might be seeing softening in the increases in income taxes, and the headline number of a 7% increase in November is solid enough, as is the FY to date increase of 6.8%.
Gross sales and use taxes are still down about 14% from four years ago, and individual income taxes are down about 7%. Adjusted for inflation, those numbers would be considerably worse.
Also, as we enter the 2012 legislative session, I’d suggest being very suspicious of promises of cuts in corporate income taxes. Just look at the revenue lines. We already have very low corporate income taxes.