- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - November was a bleak month for Mississippi tax collections.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (https://bit.ly/2hASoBZ ) collections were 8.8 percent below the original estimate for the month. Numbers compiled by the Legislative Budget Office show that’s a shortfall of $35.2 million.

A single month does not indicate a trend, but collections have been sluggish for an extended period.

Through November, the first five months of the current state budget year, revenue collections were 2.5 percent below the amount collected during the same period last year. That’s a decrease of $50.9 million.

Gov. Phil Bryant has already ordered one round of spending cuts since the budget year started July 1.

Mississippi collected less in corporate tax than it refunded in October and November.

The personal income tax and retail sales tax collections are viewed as economic indicators. Despite the sluggish revenue collections, state economist Darrin Webb has said other measurements indicate Mississippi’s economy is growing, though more slowly than the national economy.

Relatively weak revenue collections for the current fiscal year are a continuation of last year, when the state collected $34.3 million or about seven-tenths of 1 percent less than it did the prior year. It was only the fourth time since 1970 that state revenue collections were down from one year to the next.

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