The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University in Albany, New York reported Monday that state tax revenues across the country have fallen sharply, putting a strain on state government services.
The deputy director of the Institute, Robert Ward, gave a gloomy picture of the financial situation most states are facing.
"We have now had three consecutive quarters of double digit declines in state tax revenues on a year over year basis," said Robert Ward. "In other words, the third quarter of 2009 is down more than 10 percent from the same quarter a year ago. And the second quarter of this year, the decline was over 16 percent. So this is a very sharp drop in revenue for states and it's no surprise - from New York to California and everywhere in between - almost all the states are having very significant problems in balancing their budgets."
Ward cautioned that although the economy seems to have stabilized, states should not expect a quick end to their financial crisis.
"It certainly is a deep recession as indicated by the state tax revenues," he said. "We have had three consecutive quarters now that each of which represented a sharper decline than any other quarter in the 50 years or more for which we have data. So yes, there is no question that, again, based on this one indicator - states' tax revenues - this recession is the worst since the great depression."
The Rockefeller Institute of Government reports that states in the southwestern part of the country have been hardest hit by the fiscal crisis. According to the report, tax revenues for all states decreased a total of $15 billion during the third quarter of this year from compared with the same period a year ago.