Alabama And New York Revenues Drop, While Hawaii Reports Jump

New reports indicate that both Alabama and New York have seen revenue drops in recent years, while one state reports a jump and another reports holding steady.

An analysis of Alabama state and local tax collection for Fiscal Year 2009 by the Birmingham News indicates that the state collected the least taxes per resident of the 50 states. The analysis comes the same day New York budget officials released a mid-year budget report showing that the state's current budget has grown out of balance due to revenue shortfalls.

In Alabama, the analysis shows that the state collected $2,793 per resident in revenue in the 2009 fiscal year. Alaska led the analysis with the state collecting $8.953 in revenue. The analysis said the median collection for all states was $3,799.

"One of the reasons that we're able to attract industry into Alabama ... is we are a low-tax state. That is a positive thing," Gov. Robert Bentley said.

"When people look at Alabama, if they're going to come here to retire, if they're going to come and bring their business here, they know that they're not going to be overtaxed, and the people that work for that company will not be overtaxed," he said.

Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston), the top-ranking state senator, said a low tax burden "plays into your ability to attract business."

The New York report, released by the state Budget Division, indicated that the state has a $350 million shortfall in the current budget, which runs through March 31. Capital Tonight reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) plans to bring the state legislature back to Albany before the end of the year to tackle the revenue shortfall. New York legislators were not scheduled to return to the capital until January.

The New York budget report also indicated that the state is on track to have have a $3 to 3.5 billion shortfall in the next state budget, which starts on April 1. Budget officials indicated the decrease in state revenues are tied to the current European financial crisis.

Hawaii officials are seeing the state's bank account growing, with a report that state revenue has grown eight percent from last year. Tourism growth is credited for the revenue growth in the Aloha state.

In Idaho, the Spokesman-Review reported that state revenue figures for October were almost the same as projected by state officials. Revenue collection for the month came in at $209.9 million, after officials estimated the haul would be $211.4 million.