The press release from the Governor’s office says that there were “mixed results” in the state’s December revenue numbers. It’s a refreshing bit of non-hyped analysis, but I’d say that the numbers are decent and are reflective of the slow but steady growth that we seem to be seeing in the state’s economy.
We are NOT, however, seeing that growth translate into steady employment growth, according to the establishment survey data released each month.
Here’s a look at the month of December compared to last December (income taxes tend to be volatile for a variety of reasons in December):
The slight decline in individual income taxes is likely a bit of statistical noise and not necessarily a sign of falling incomes, although we’ll know more in the coming months about income trends. The decent increase in sales tax collections is evidence of slowly improving consumer economy.
As always, it’s worth noting that these numbers are still off significantly from their pre-recession peaks.
And it’s certainly worth saying that while I’m not alarmed in the year over year decline in the December data, falling or even stagnant total state revenues could present terrible choices for the Georgia state legislature, which is now in session.