An increase in tobacco and corporate tax collections early in 2010 has helped Wisconsin stay out of an even bigger budget hole.
New figures from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue show that overall tax collections continue to fall because of the recession, although there are some positive trends.
Income taxes, the largest single source of revenue for the state, fell 8.7 percent on an adjusted basis for January and February 2010 compared to the same two months in 2009. The state is reporting $878 million in income tax collections so far in 2010 vs. $962 million in 2009.
Sales tax, the second largest source of revenue, fell 5.3 percent in the first two months of 2010 to $648 million vs. $684 million in 2009.
Corporate tax collections did increase in the first two months of 2010, with $64 million coming in vs. $8 million in corporate tax refunds going out in 2009.
Excise taxes, which include tobacco products, rose 23 percent to $126 million, up from $103 million in 2009.
Despite the continuing drop in revenue, state officials remain confident that tax collections will be enough to meet obligations.
"We're still on track for our projections for 2010," says Stephanie Marquis, spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue.
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