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U.S. states consider budget shortfalls

July 1, 2008 at 9:25 AM

WASHINGTON, July 1 (UPI) -- Many U.S. states are looking at a new fiscal year starting July 1 with budget shortfalls and dwindling tax revenues, various sources said.

Times are especially tough in states hit hard by the mortgage crisis, The New York Times reported.

California has a $17 billion budget gap. Nevada, which cut $914 million from its previous budget, has a $275 million shortfall and a Republican governor, Jim Gibbons, calling for a 4-percent budget cut by state agencies. And Arizona has a $2.2 billion budget gap on a spending plan of $9.9 billion, the Times reported.

After adjusting for inflation and tax cuts, state tax revenues fell 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008 with flat sales tax revenues and a 5.1-percent decline in corporate taxes compared to 2007, the Times reported.

Twelve states have also experienced a drop in taxable incomes, the newspaper said.

"There are signs that the economic weakness is very widespread," Don Boyd, a senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, N.Y. told the Times. "Between this past May and three months prior, a lot more states were declining," he said.

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