Ala. finance chief says budget drop bottoming out

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The acting state finance director says declining tax collections for public education may have bottomed out and no additional budget cuts are needed now.

Bill Newton says tax collections for public education through the first 11 months of the state's fiscal year were down 9.7 percent from the same time a year ago. But he says the good news is that the rate of decline stayed about the same from July to August,
which was the 11th month.

Newton said the question now is: When will the state see an upturn?

Newton said Tuesday the tax collections are steady enough that Gov. Bob Riley won't have to increase cutbacks in the state education budget, which now total 11 percent. The current education budget ends on Sept. 30.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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