Sales tax collections drop in Texas, nation

As the economy continues to slump, state tax collections in Texas — and nationwide — continue to drop.

A report released Wednesday shows that average tax revenue dropped more than 12 percent in 45 of 47 states that reported data. Texas was in the middle with a 7.6 percent decline in sales taxes from January to March, compared with the same period last year, and Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has said she doesn’t see big relief in sight.

"Most major sectors of the economy continue to struggle," Combs said this month. "Decreases in monthly collections are expected to continue this year."

In Texas, sales taxes make up more than half the state’s tax revenue. Officials projected these drops in sales tax collections because they expected to see lags in industries such as retail, construction, and oil and gas, said R.J. DeSilva, a spokesman for the comptroller’s office.

Wednesday’s report shows that tax collections nationwide in the first quarter of this year were down nearly $20 billion from last year’s $154 billion. Across the country, average tax collections dipped 12.6 percent, according to the New York-based Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, which compiled the report.

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