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Virginia state revenue down 6.1 percent in March

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia received 6.1 percent less revenue in March than the same month a year ago, largely because of weak corporate income tax collections, state Finance Secretary Ric Brown reported Thursday.

In his monthly financial report to Gov. Bob McDonnell, Brown noted that March normally Is not a significant month for revenue collections. And even with last month's decline, he said, revenues this fiscal year have grown by 4 percent through March — slightly ahead of the projected 3.4 percent increase that was the basis for the state budget.

McDonnell said in a written statement that the March figures "remind us that our future economic growth is still uncertain."

Corporate income tax receipts were down 42.6 percent, but that tax source accounts for only 5 percent of general fund revenues. At the other end of the spectrum, individual income tax withholding accounts for 63 percent of collections. That category increased by 2 percent in March.

Estimated income taxes paid quarterly by the self-employed and investors declined 10.5 percent. Sales tax collections were down 1.9 percent and have now lagged below projections five of the last six months.

Brown noted that the last three months of the fiscal year will be important because estimated and final tax payments from corporations and individuals will be due. Fourth-quarter collections must total $5.2 billion to meet the budgeted forecast. Last year, fourth-quarter collections were $5.1 billion.