Link to September 14 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, "Sales tax revenue tumbles".
Excerpt: In the nearly five decades since Wisconsin began collecting a tax on retail purchases in 1962, sales tax receipts have never declined from one year to the next - until now.
Stung by the recession, consumers in Wisconsin have clamped down on spending, reducing the amount of sales tax collected by the state during the past year by 4.3%, to $4.1 billion.
The state's sales tax collections continued to increase during the recession of the early 1980s, in part because the state raised the rate to 5% in May 1982, near the end of the fiscal year.
Originally, the rate was set at 3% when taxes were first collected, then raised to 4% in 1969.
In 1982, when the state had been in a recession for two years, sales tax receipts increased by just 0.06%. A year later, with the increase in the rate, sales tax receipts jumped 25.8%.
State officials and some retail analysts expect to see an improvement in the 4th quarter of this year. Of course, the 4th quarter of last year is when we first found ourselves in this current mess.
And if you really want a depressing start to the week, add this article to the mix.