Illinois revenue free fall: Fiscal year-to-date -8.1 percent and worsening

Illinois revenue free fall: Fiscal year-to-date -8.1 percent and worsening

Illinois’ revenues are falling each month of this fiscal year, and it will be difficult to change course.

Illinois’ fiscal condition is in bad shape and worsening. Jim Muschinske, revenue manager for the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, notes a “February Free fall.” Compared to last year, February income taxes are down 12.1 percent, sales taxes are down 7.5 percent and public utility taxes are down 34.3 percent.

Two-thirds through Fiscal Year 2017, general revenues are down a whopping 8.1 percent.

Overall base revenues fell $423 million in February. Like a broken record, monthly declines reflected weaker income taxes along with poor federal sources. Unfortunately, February’s lackluster performance was widespread with only a couple sources managing to show gains. One less receipting day likely contributed to the decline, though certainly not the primary culprit.

Through the first two-thirds of the fiscal year, base receipts are off $1.453 billion, or 7.5 percent. Weakness is widespread, and has resulted in year-over-year losses in key areas such as income taxes and federal sources. With renewed uncertainty of sales tax performance, and with only four months left in FY 2017, it will be very difficult to alter the trajectory of what has turned into a dismal year for revenues.

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