A new report on state and local government finances of all states by the Rockefeller Institute shows that state and local revenues have been higher than the previous year’s collections for two straight quarters.
Revenues from the second quarter of 2010 (April-June) were 2.3 percent higher than in 2009, however, state and local revenues are still down 14.9 percent compared to equivalent figures from 2008. At such a slow rate of recovery, it would take until 2017 for revenues to return to 2008 levels. Even at twice the rate of growth (4.6 percent per year), state and local revenues will not reach 2008 levels until 2014.
Fortunately, preliminary figures from the Rockefeller Institute show national state and local revenue growth increasing in the third quarter to 2.8 percent over the previous year. Looking only at state revenues here in North Carolina, overall tax revenue collections were up in the July-September quarter by about 6.8 percent, driven mostly by an increase in sales tax collections of almost 28 percent.
Even though the revenue picture in North Carolina is looking up compared to last year and compared to other states, we’ve still a long way to go for revenue collections to reach pre-recession levels.