State tax collections took a rare dip in August after years of mostly improving numbers.
The overall tax take was down .2 of a percent - or $3.9 million - for August over August 2016.
Income tax collections were down almost 1 percent, while net sales tax collections were off 2.4 percent.
Income and sales tax collections make up the bulk of the revenue the state takes in to fund its $25 billion budget.
Collections fluctuate and one month doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of the direction of the local economy. In fact, sales tax collections were only down because the state sent more of what it took in to cities and counties in August than it did in August 2016.
The revenue picture for the state has been strong, which is generally a good sign for the economy. State collections jumped $930 million in fiscal 2017, which ended June 30. And July’s take was up 7.1 percent.
Nonetheless, Gov. Nathan Deal’s budget team directed state agencies in July not to request increases in spending for the coming year beyond those driven by enrollment-based formulas, such as the K12 schools, universities and Medicaid, the public health care plan for the poor and disabled. Much of the new money expected to come in is already earmarked for increases in those areas and for payments to the Teacher Retirement System to maintain that pension program’s fiscal strength.