The first month of fiscal 2010 showed that revenues continued a downward spiral.

Net revenue collections for July were $1.09 billion compared to $1.21 billion in July 2008, a decrease of 9.6%, the Georgia Department of Revenue reported.

Individual income tax collections were $522 million, a decrease of 8.4%, while corporate income tax collections were $14 million, an increase of 10.4%.

Sales and use tax collections were down $47.5 million, or 9.7%, over the previous year. Motor fuel tax collections were $65 million, a decrease of 17.9% compared to July 2008. Collections for motor vehicle tags, titles, and other fees were down across the board.

While the state continues to suffer from declining revenues, Atlanta's transit authority also is bracing for severe losses. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority officials last week said a new economic analysis from the Georgia State University Economic Forecasting Center predicted greater losses from a dedicated sales tax than originally anticipated.

The new sales tax forecast predicts that MARTA will see an additional $10.8 million drop in sales tax receipts in fiscal 2010, on top of the $74.3 million decline that had been previously forecast, MARTA officials said. This forecast predicts that there will not be in uptick in sales tax revenue until 2012.

"We also need for our region to take these predictions seriously," MARTA general manager Beverly Scott said in a release. "They show that current MARTA transit service levels cannot be sustained under the current funding structure."

While MARTA will begin reevaluating options to address its shortfall, Scott also said that new funding sources must be found to ensure a viable transit system in metropolitan Atlanta.

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