Georgia sees increase in tax revenue

ATLANTA (AP) - Three-quarters into its current fiscal year, Georgia has collected $1 billion more in taxes than it did during the same period last year.

Revenue in March increased 6.5 percent over March 2005, according to a state Department of Revenue report released Monday. That is an increase of about $73.2 million.

And for fiscal year 2006, which ends June 30, collections are up 9.6 percent, or $1.028 billion, over the same period in 2005.

If the trend continues, the state will end the fiscal year with a surplus.

''We're steaming ahead, and we see no letup in sight,'' Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham said.

It's good news for Gov. Sonny Perdue, who spent much of his first few years in office trying to keep the state's finances out of the red. Perdue is up for re-election this year.

Much of the extra money is expected to go into reserves, which Perdue and lawmakers emptied to help balance the state's budget.