JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's historically low tax collections fell even further in October.
Revenue collections declined by almost 11 percent according to the October general revenue report.
Gov. Jay Nixon cut $204 million from the state's budget last week. The cuts were based on an expected 4 percent decline in revenue for the year, State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said.
Last month Luebbering said revenue numbers are expected to improve in January or February, which is a year after revenue collections began to see the impact from the economic downturn.
With this improvement beginning in January or February, the governor's office is expecting the annual decline to rise to 4 percent, negating the need for additional budget cuts.
House Budget Chair, Rep. Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County, described the governor's projection as "optimistic."
"I certainly hope I'm wrong," Icet said, "but I don't see any sort of significant recovery on the horizon."
Higher than expected sales during the Christmas season could provide enough sales tax revenue to improve budget projections, Icet said, but he doesn't expect that the "Christmas selling season will be a blockbuster."
The state collected $2.15 billion this fiscal year, a drop of $260 million compared to the same period last year. For the month of October, revenue collection was down 14 percent compared to October last year.
While Luebbering said some of the decline can be attributed to a difference in when sales taxes are collected, she added that 14 percent is still bad.
Because one of the sales tax collection dates falling on a weekend, some sale tax revenue will not be collected until November.
But Luebbering said she doesn't expect overall collections to increase in November.
Due mostly to the state's unemployment rate of 9.5 percent, income tax collections, the state's largest source of revenue, have decreased by $140,000 for the year.