Two months into the state's budget year, Maine's government is $4.8 million in the red after revenue from sales, personal income and corporate income taxes failed to meet projections for August.
Finance Commissioner Sawin Millett told Capitol News Service that his largest concern is the drop in sales tax revenue that could, if it continues, leave legislators with a big hole to fill in the upcoming December session.
Sales tax revenue was behind projections in July and fell further behind in August, dropping to $6.7 million less than expected.
Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, told CNS that she views the sales tax revenues as an indicator of how the average Mainer is doing financially.
"We were hoping that July was a blip," Rotundo told CNS. "With this second month coming in below, there has to be a concern here that there may be a trend."
CNS reported that some of the state's smaller revenue streams came in above projections, offsetting some of the losses from major sources like sales tax. Revenues from taxes on cigarettes, for example, came in $2 million ahead of projections.