/ Modified oct 19, 2012 11:07 a.m.

State Tax Revenues Beat Budget in Sept

But first 3 months leaves coffers $8.4M below projections

Arizona state government collected $4.7 million more in revenues in September than projected in the budget, a turnaround from slowness in the first two months of the fiscal year, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee reported Friday.

The state ended the first quarter of the fiscal year $8.4 million below projected revenues despite the September surge, the JLBC report said.

The report, issued monthly, said that September's revenues were enhanced by 4 percent increases in income in the big three revenue categories -- sales taxes, individual income taxes and corporate income taxes.

The state had a balance of $1.3 billion in its operating fund as of mid-October, the report said. That, in essence, is the state's checking account from which day-to-day state government operations are paid for.

The JLBC reported retail sales taxes grew 3.1 percent in September over the same month a year ago and were up 5.3 percent in the first three months of the fiscal year.

At the JLBC's Oct. 4 meeting to update legislators and the public on state finance and the economy, staff members and economists on the committee's Finance Advisory Committee were cautious about the coming months.

One economist, Jim Rounds of Elliott Pollack & Co. of Scottsdale, said he expects to see softness in the economy, but not a recession, for the next six months.

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