Missouri state government’s income was almost flat in December compared to a year ago, a possible sign that Gov.-elect Eric Greitens may face tougher financial decisions than he had expected.
The state’s latest revenue numbers, released Wednesday, show that Missouri’s income growth for the current fiscal year is less than half the increase needed to fully fund the state government’s current budget.
The General Assembly had assumed growth of about 5 percent when it crafted the budget for the fiscal year that began last July 1. December’s numbers mark the halfway point and show an increase so far of about 2.2 percent for the fiscal year’s first six months.
December’s tally for the month illustrates the problem. Growth for the month was only 0.3 percent – or $2.4 million – compared to December 2015.
Acting State Budget Director Dan Haug said in an interview a month ago that the chief reason for lower-than-expected income numbers is a sharp decline in corporate tax collections. Haug points to a change in Missouri’s tax laws that deal with how multistate corporations divide profits among the states where they do business.
Under the Missouri constitution, the state’s budget must be balanced by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio