Barbour faces possibility of new cuts

By Bobby Harrison

Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – Even though the new budget year is just more than a month old, speculation already has begun that Gov. Haley Barbour will be forced to make cuts to state agencies.

The Legislature and the governor finally agreed on a budget on June 30 only hours before the new fiscal year began. But because of alarmingly sluggish revenue collections, the governor might be forced to make changes to that budget agreement.

Dismal state tax collections during July are casting doubt on whether the state will bring in enough money to fund state agencies at a level called for in the budget.

For the month of July, tax collections were $26.2 million, or 11.3 percent, below projections. Tax collections for the month were $56 million, or 21 percent, below the amount collected during the same time period last year.

Under state law, the governor can start cutting the budget whenever he decides collections will not meet the official revenue estimate, which is the amount used to build the budget.

NEMS Daily Journal