Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn had bad economic news for Texans recently. Strayhorn reported that July state sales tax collections are down 4.6 percent compared to a year ago. The 4.6 percent decline means Texas collected $55,880,870 less than July 2002. The significant drop ranks as the third worst single month decline for Texas in the last 10 years. “This is very negative news,” Strayhorn said. “When the sales tax catches a cold, our state gets pneumonia. We’ve had a decline in sales tax collections for twelve of the last thirteen months. This unfortunate, historic drop of 4.6 percent shows that our Texas economy remains weak and there is still no turnaround in sight.” Strayhorn went on to say, “We can’t afford to go whistling past the graveyard. State government must work even harder at finding ways to save taxpayers dollars.” With just one month left, sales tax collections for fiscal year 2003 are down 1.8 percent, $236,504,862, from last fiscal year. That number is even worse than the 1.1 percent decline Texans experienced in fiscal year 2002.