Arizona collected taxes totaling $1.8 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 but spent $2.8 billion over the same period, according to the latest monthly revenue report from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

The committee report said total general fund collections in the first three months of the fiscal year are $233.4 million less than expected.

Tax collections in September were $760.7 million, $226 million more than was spent but $269 million less than expected. The 16% decline from September 2008 marked the 14th consecutive month of double-digit declines in previous-year totals.

The positive balance in September was realized by using $270 million of federal stimulus funds to make a scheduled payment of state aid to school districts.

September sales tax collections of $287.8 million were $28.5 million less than predicted.

Sales tax revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 total $866 million, which is $72 million less than forecast and a drop of 17% from sales tax revenues during the first quarter of 2009.

Individual income tax collections were $267 million in September, almost $83 million less than expected. Year-to-date individual income tax collections of $732.9 million are $113.6 million less than expected.

The committee said September’s 10.9% drop in withholding tax payments was the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year shrinkage.

“The state has not suffered that many months of year-over-year declines since at least 1960,” the committee said.

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