Sales and vehicle tax revenue in East Baton Rouge Parish fell 4% in June from last year, continuing a string of skimpy collections since the start of 2010.

The parish, which includes Baton Rouge, collected $77 million from the taxes in the first six months of 2010, or $5 million less than expected.

Parish officials predicted a 1% increase in annual revenues when the 2010 budget was developed. Instead, collections in the first six months of this year were 5% lower than in 2009. Tax collections account for more than 54% of the parish's $283.1 general fund budget for 2010.

January collections were below expectations by 12% in January, 7% in February, 1% in March, 3% in April, and 5% in May. The combined city and parish government is currently developing a budget for 2011. Parish Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden advised department heads in June to prepare for a 5% reduction in expenditures next year.

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