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Local tax coffers fall lower nationwide

By Jennifer Liberto, senior writer

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) -- In another ominous sign for state budgets nationwide, state and local governments reported another drop in overall tax revenue on Tuesday.

General sales tax, individual income tax and corporate income tax were all down in the third quarter of 2009, resulting in an overall 6.7% drop in total tax revenue, compared to the same quarter in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is the fourth consecutive quarter in which tax revenue collection has fallen.

The one bright spot was property tax collection, which showed a slight increase of 3.5%, compared to the same quarter in 2008.

Total taxes collected in the third quarter were $266.5 billion compared to $285.6 billion during the same quarter in 2008.

States are wrestling with some of the worst budget deficits since the Great Depression. Rising unemployment has wreaked havoc on their vital revenue streams of personal income, corporate profits and sales taxes.

Though governors and lawmakers are reluctant to raise taxes, particularly in bad economic times, the current fiscal situation has prompted some to turn to such measures.

Some 29 states enacted revenue hikes for fiscal 2010, which began on July 1 in nearly all states. Personal income tax hikes accounted for the largest portion, some $10.7 billion. Corporate levies declined by $202.2 million. To top of page

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