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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:05 a.m., Thursday, January 10, 2002

Tax collections down last month, up for year

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

State tax collections dropped last month by 7.9 percent, or $18.3 million, but total revenue generated so far this fiscal year remains slightly ahead of last year.

The state collected $213.2 million in December, a decrease of $18.3 million from the previous December, according to statistics released today by the state Department of Taxation.

So far this fiscal year the state has collected almost $1.53 billion, or 0.9 percent more than what the state collected in the same period last fiscal year.

The state Council on Revenues, which meets today, has projected a 0.7 percent decrease in state tax collections for the 2002 fiscal year, which began July 2001.

The general excise tax, the state's largest revenue source and leading economic indicator, was statistically $10.8 million higher than last year. But adjusted for the "weekend effect," general excise tax collections actually fell by about $10 million. Tax collections for December 2000 were particularly lower because the month ended on a Sunday, pushing some tax collections into January 2001.

Predictions of sharp declines in tax collections following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have prompted Gov. Ben Cayetano and lawmakers to prepare for budget cuts for this year and the next.