In December 2006, Georgia’s taxes and other revenues totaled $1.63 billion. In December 2007, the total was slightly higher, but still rounded to $1.63 billion.
And then came the deep recession.
By 2011, collections in December had recovered to $1.54 billion.
Total taxes and other revenues in December 2012 totaled $1.69 billion — clearly surpassing pre-recession levels with a 9.8 percent increase over 2011.
The revenue categories that are the best indicators of the current state of the economy both showed healthy year-over-year gains. Gross sales and use tax rose 3.9 percent and individual income tax rose 11.8 percent in December compared to a year ago.
Corporate income taxes make up less than 10 percent of the state’s revenues, but those also increased 8.2 percent.
Now, it’s worth noting that if we adjusted all of these numbers for inflation, we’d still be significantly below pre-recession levels. And as the AJC notes: “The increase was welcome news as Deal’s aides are preparing a budget that will be presented to lawmakers during the legislative session that begins Monday. But the gains aren’t expected to be enough to stave off a new round of belt-tightening.”
But these are good numbers, especially considering the cable news networks would have had you believing that Americans spent all of December hunkered down at home watching the debacle about the so-called “fiscal cliff”.