WASHINGTON — State tax collections grew during the first quarter for the first time since 2008, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government reported Tuesday, raising hope that the national economic recovery may finally be improving states’ fiscal fortunes.

Overall state tax revenues in the January to March quarter increased 2.5% from the same quarter a year ago, the first year-over-year growth since the third quarter of 2008, the report found. Adjusted for inflation, the total tax collections showed a gain of 2.0%.

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