July 11, 2019 10:40:49 AM
JACKSON -- Mississippi government collected nearly 5 percent more money during the state budget year that recently ended than it did the previous year.
Newly released information from the Legislative Budget Office shows that's an increase of about $278 million.
Total state revenue was nearly $6 billion during fiscal 2019, which ended June 30. It was about $5.7 billion in 2018.
Most of the revenue is from tax collections, but the numbers include money the state collected from lawsuits -- about $18 million in 2019 and $32 million the year before.
"Great year-end numbers," Republican Gov. Phil Bryant wrote on Twitter. "Republicans have cut taxes over 50 times in the last eight years."
It was the best year-end budget report the state has received in years.
The strongest gain was in collection of the "use tax," which includes taxes people pay for online shopping. That figure increased nearly 27 percent from 2018 to 2019. Corporate tax collections increased more than 12 percent.
Mississippi and many other states require legislators to balance the budget each year, although no such requirement exists for Congress and the federal budget. In years when Mississippi revenue falls short of expectations, the governor must make midyear spending cuts.
During the budget year that ran from July 2015 through June 2016, Bryant had to reduce budgets twice because of lagging tax collections.
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