We didn't exactly need a think tank to tell us how bad things have gotten here in Arizona, but what the heck -- if one wants to quantify our state's woe, who are we not immerse ourselves in the sad details?
This week's bad news comes from this month's Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government's State Revenue Report. And while it helpfully explains that the economy is bad everywhere, it also provides proof that in Arizona, things are even worse than bad. Our personal income has fallen, our employment is in the shitter, and our sales tax collections are way, way down, too.
The lowlights: AZ suffered the second highest drop in personal income tax collection from the spring quarter of 2008 to the same quarter in 2009. The drop was a staggering 44.5 percent; only our neighbors in New Mexico had it worse.
Across the country, personal income tax collection was down 27.5 percent in that quarter.
When it comes to sales tax collections, Arizona also suffered the second-to-largest decline. Our sales tax revenue fell 27.3 percent in the spring quarter of 2009, compared to the same quarter in 2008. Only Wisconsin suffered a sharper drop.
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Finally, the report delves into employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, looking at the "decline in employment" from the spring of 2008 to the spring of 2009. And, once again, Arizona is second to worst. Michigan had a 7.4 percent decline, while ours clocked in at 7.3 percent. (Talk about a photo finish!)
The upshot: We're second to worst in just about everything. Which, considering that we finished second to three different states, means, overall, we're flat out The Worst.
You can read the whole report here, should you be looking for a complete downer on this grayish morning. As for us, we're off to fill our 'scrip for Prozac ...