State revenue grows for fifth consecutive month

October continued Georgia's string of positive tax collections as Gov. Sonny Perdue said Wednesday that the state's revenue picture improved for a fifth straight month.

Figures released by Perdue's office show that October revenue collections were more than $1.23 billion, compared with $1.14 billion in October 2009, an increase of 8.2 percent.

For the fiscal year, which began July 1, collections are up by 7.6 percent over the same four months of last year. The state budget for fiscal 2011, which began July 1, was predicated on a 4 percent growth in tax collections.

"October's revenue numbers continue to show a strong positive trend, which is obviously an encouraging sign for Georgia's economy," Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said.

Sales tax collections continued to pace the growth as October saw the state bring in nearly $56 million more in sales and use taxes than a year ago. Individual income taxes also posted strong figures, increasing 4.1 percent or $25 million.

Corporate income taxes, however, continue to be a problem area as businesses continue to struggle to grow. Business income taxes were down another 10.5 percent in October as the state paid out $5.4 million more in refunds than it took in taxes. Corporate income tax collections can vary widely, depending on the time of the year.

Here is a closer look at October's revenue report.

Individual income tax collections

October 2010: $635.7 million

October 2009: $610.6 million

Difference: 4.1 percent

Corporate income tax collections

October 2010: -$5.42 million

October 2009: -$4.9 million

Difference: -10.5 percent

Sales and use tax collections

October 2010: $792.7 million

October 2009: $736.7 million

Difference: 7.6 percent

Fiscal year to date (July 1-Oct. 31)

Overall tax collections: $5.02 billion

Same period a year ago: $4.66 billion

Difference: 7.6 percent