State tax receipts were down nearly 7% last month compared to February of 2008. Over half a billion dollars in taxes were paid to the State of Iowa in February, but the total was 6.9% percent less than state tax receipts in February of last year.

A report from the Legislative Services Agency makes a number of February, 2009 to February, 2008 comparisons. For example, it shows corporate tax payments to the state were down over 90% last month. And individual income taxes paid to the state were down nearly five percent.

Sales and use taxes are an indicator of retail sales, and sales and use taxes fell over 1.5% last month. Finally, people appear to be gambling more, as the taxes paid by the state’s gambling operations were up almost seven percent in February.

The total tax picture will be the subject of intense interest at the statehouse on Friday when a three-member panel of experts meets to set its official estimate of state tax revenue for the current fiscal year.

Legislators have held off making final decisions on the state budget, waiting for that estimate to be made.