The Legislature's Finance Advisory Committee last week put Arizona's deficit for fiscal 2010 at $2.93 billion, despite $600 million in budget cuts in fiscal 2009 that will extend into the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The projected shortfall for fiscal 2010 is in addition to a remaining deficit in fiscal 2009 of $510 million that must be corrected by the end of June.

Richard Stavneak, director of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, said sales tax collections in February dropped 18% and the income tax fell 33% from February 2008. He said total collections for the first eight months of fiscal 2009 came in 14.5% lower than expected when the budget for that year was developed.

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