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General Revenue collections in September above estimate

By ANDREA LANNOM

The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Department of Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said he is “cautiously optimistic” about September revenue numbers.

Revenue exceeded estimates in severance tax and corporate net income tax collections. However, numbers lagged in cumulative collections.

According to a news release from the Department of Revenue, severance tax and corporate net income tax revenues put the state’s General Revenue Fund Collections $11.5 million above estimate and 3.5 percent above last year’s receipts. General Revenue Collections totaled $389.2 million for September.

Hardy said in the release that this is positive news for the state. Last month, Hardy said the state was behind estimates two months into the fiscal year but said September was the important month to watch.

“It appears that we are gaining some ground in some critical areas,” Hardy said in the release. “This was an important month in terms of revenues and it didn’t disappoint. We are cautiously optimistic as we watch collections to continue to improve.”

However, the state still is lagging in cumulative collections at $948.7 million, which is $7.8 million below estimate. The release said collections are $33.9 million ahead compared to where revenues were at this time last year.

According to the release, severance tax collections totaled more than $31.2 million for the month. This is $4 million above estimate and 19.1 percent higher than last year’s receipts, the release said. Cumulative General Revenue Fund severance tax collections of $56.3 million were $11.7 million below estimate but more than 47 percent above last year-to-date receipts.

“Following a period of slower growth during late summer and early autumn, we expect to see severance tax collections continuing to rebound because of an expectation of improving natural gas prices later this fiscal year,” Hardy said in the release.

Corporate net income tax had a 35 percent monthly gain compared to last year and an $11.8 million surplus for September, the release said. Corporate net income tax fell below estimate the first two months of the year.

Personal income tax, consumer sales tax, tobacco product excise tax and state road fund collections fell short of estimates.

Personal income tax collections fell $1.2 million short of estimate because of a nearly 47 percent increase in tax refund payments for the month, the release said. Cumulative collections were $432.9 million, $2 million below estimate, and 1.8 percent above last year’s receipts.

Consumer sales and use tax receipts fell $2.6 million below estimate last month.Accounting for municipal sales tax collections and special revenue transfers, sales tax increased by 0.9 percent for the month, the release said.

The cumulative deficit in General Revenue Fund sales tax collections grew $7.9 million. The release said the increase in transfers to special revenue funds makes cumulative general revenue fund sales tax collections up by 1 percent compared to an overall increase in sales tax collections of 2 percent.

Tobacco product excise tax collections were $14.2 million in September. Monthly collections were $0.9 million below estimate and 26.4 percent below last year’s receipts, according to the release. Cumulative collections were $47 million and $3.7 million above estimate and 17.9 percent below last year’s receipts.

State road fund collections were $47 million, $19.1 million below estimate and 23.4 percent below last year’s receipts. The release said this is because of revenue timing variances. Cumulative collections were $14.6 million below estimate and 1.6 percent above last year’s receipts.

Email: [email protected]; follow on Twitter @AndreaLannom

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