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Economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, but Missouri's latest revenue report once again shows more growth in collections than a year before — though the pace of growth has slowed.

The Missouri Office of Administration and state Budget Director Dan Haug this week released the general revenue report for December 2020, which shows a 6.3 percent increase in collections compared to December 2019 — an increase of $53.3 million.

Collection sources include individual income, sales and use, and corporate income and corporate franchise taxes.

Net general revenue collections for the current fiscal year-to-date had increased 20.1 percent compared to December 2019, "from $4.53 billion last year to $5.44 billion this year."

The pace of revenue growth over last year has slowed some in recent months. Collections in October were up 25.3 percent compared to the year before, and November was up 14.5 percent compared to November 2019.

The December revenue report also shows an increase in refunds from the year before — a 5.9 percent increase for the year, from $367.4 million to $389.2 million.

Lawmakers still expect a tough budget-crafting process this spring for the 2022 fiscal year, as that will reflect the full economic impact of the pandemic from the 2020 calendar year, and the current 2021 fiscal year has included tax revenues from the 2019 calendar year that were pushed back from their normal filing deadline in the spring into the summer because of the pandemic.

The economy has recovered enough that Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday announced the release of almost $127 million the state budget that had been restricted since July — the start of the current fiscal year — when Parson had restricted approximately $449 million.

Parson restored more than $40 million in general revenue funding to the budget in October, when he also added nearly $95 million in federal aid to support critical needs.

This week, the released $126.9 million included more than $117 million of general revenue money.

All remaining restricted money for the states' community colleges and four-year universities was released, as well as everything that had been restricted for meat and poultry inspections; the Department of Economic Development's Division of Tourism; the Capitol Police; the Missouri Highway Patrol's enforcement, vehicle purchases and academy; administration of the State Emergency Management Agency; developmental disability community programs, offices and non-Medicaid services; work programs under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Fund; and MO HealthNet's Pharmacy Program.

The full list of released withholds is available at oa.mo.gov/sites/default/files/FY_2021_Expenditure_Restriction_Release_January_6_2021.pdf.

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