State individual income tax collections in Arizona hit a 13-year low in April, according to the latest revenue report from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

April’s income tax collections of $137.2 million were the lowest level since fiscal 1996.

General fund revenues totaled $621.3 million in April, which includes $59.2 million in budgeted fund transfers authorized by the Legislature at its special session in January. Without the transferred funds, collections would have been down $505.9 million from the January estimate, or almost 48% less than was collected in April 2008.

The severe decline in income tax collections accounts for $422 million of the $506 million drop in April, according to the budget committee.

Income tax payments in April were almost 44% below April 2008 and $300 million less than expected. Refunds were up 34%, the panel said, totaling $97 million more than expected.

Sales tax collections of $299.9 million were down 19.8% from April 2008, and $48.4 million less than the forecast.

General fund collections for the first 10 months of fiscal 2009 total $6.38 billion, down 18.6% from the same period in fiscal 2008. The year-to-date collected total is $663.9 million less than the committee expected in January and $945.7 million less than collected in the same period last year.

The joint committee’s report noted that the latest figures from the Arizona Department of Commerce indicate the rate of decline experienced by the state’s economy may be slowing. However, it will be some time before improvements are apparent.

“While the economy no longer appears to be in a 'free fall,’ there are still considerable downside risks in the near term, especially in regards to the housing and financial sectors,” the committee said.

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