It's not a surprising fact that tax revenue generated by our state over the last month of 2015 was down. How far down the revenue was might be the surprising part. State Treasurer John Kennedy has released the December 2015 Net Receipts Report and it indicates the slow down in business and spending most of us have observed over the holidays.

Kennedy's report says the total state revenue from sales taxes, severance taxes, and corporation taxes were down by 15%. In speaking with the Louisiana Radio Network Kennedy explained the drop this way.

There a reason state revenues are down, it's because a big portion of the economy sucks right now.

Kennedy is referring mainly to the current state of oil prices and how those low prices affect the economy of Louisiana.

Obviously, when people are laid off they don't pay income tax and they buy fewer things so sales taxes go down.

Just to be clear this particular report does not address revenue from gambling revenue, fees, self generated revenue, or other statutory dedications. The drop in revenue is certainly a concern for the state legislature and Kennedy has these words of wisdom for our elected officials.

They better be real careful, if they're just going to do massive tax increases, not tanking this economy.  Because they could do it real easily and make it a lot worse.

There are already proposals being debated in the legislature about ways to increase state revenues among the most prominent suggestions are tax increases in several different areas.  You can expect debate about those increases to be very heated and very political in nature.