Report: state revenues up 8.6 percent in Q1

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State tax revenues were 8.6 percent higher in the first quarter of 2013 than the previous year, according to a new report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

The increase is attributed to an 18.4 percent spike in personal income tax collections, which rose mainly due to high-income taxpayers accelerating their capital gains realizations in 2012 to avoid a possible tax increase.

Because of that, the increase is not expected to continue through the rest of the year, the study said, although 39 states were above peak levels for the first time since the first quarter of 2008.

Revenue was highest in the western part of the country, where it increased 47.9 percent. California saw the largest state growth with an increase of 52.2 percent compared to the same period of 2012.

Part of the reason for the dramatic growth in California is a 2012 ballot measure that increased the personal income tax rate on taxpayers making more than $500,000. California represented about a fourth of personal income tax collections nationwide in the first quarter of 2013.

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