Illinois general funds revenue up 9.1 pct in Q1

Reuters

CHICAGO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Illinois' revenue for its generalfunds was up $700 million or 9.1 percent in the first quarter offiscal 2014 versus the same period a year ago, but $469 millionof the increase was one-time revenue, according to a report onThursday from a state legislative commission.

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountabilitysaid general funds collections totaled $8.43 billion in theJuly-September period with personal income taxes rising by $205million and corporate income taxes up $75 million. Sales taxesgrew by $139 million.

"In the case of sales taxes, we've seen several months ofpretty good sales tax numbers, but we don't know if that willcontinue for the rest of the fiscal year," said Jim Muschinske,the commission's revenue manager.

A transfer of excess income tax refund money was the biggestone-time boost for Illinois' coffers in the first quarter. The$397 million transfer into the general funds was nearly $100million over the budgeted amount, according to Muschinske. Hesaid the state also received $72 million from legal settlements.

Illinois has been struggling to pay its bills as a huge $100billion unfunded pension liability and ballooning annual pensionpayments are squeezing out funding for core state services suchas education and public safety.

A special legislative committee created in June has yet tocome up with a pension fix ahead of the fall session, whichbegins later this month. Meanwhile, Illinois' credit ratingshave fallen to the lowest level among states.

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