Tax Revenue

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State tax collections for fiscal 2003 grew less than one percent above the previous year, and the forecast for the future is about as flat.

John Mann, director of research for the state Revenue Department, said the slight growth indicates the recession has ended, but he said there are no job hires or other signs indicating that major economic growth is just around the corner.

In a new report, the Revenue Department says the state had collected $6.12 billion in taxes when the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. That was up less than one percent from the $6.06 billion collected the previous year.

Mann said for fiscal 2004, the Revenue Department is forecasting a point-84 percent increase in state tax collections.

Looking into the state's financial future, Gov. Bob Riley's administration is forecasting no tax growth for fiscal 2005.

Mann said Alabama and many other states have the same situation:
Tax collections are increasing slightly, but expenses are growing faster. During much of the 1990s, a strong economy helped state tax collections grow by five percent or more per year.