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Revenue secretary “cautiously optimistic” about West Virginia revenue numbers


The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said he is “cautiously optimistic” about state revenue numbers so far for the current fiscal year.

Secretary Dave Hardy

Cumulative General Revenue Fund collections were $1.6 billion – $14.1 million below estimate but 4.5 percent ahead of last year.

Hardy presented numbers in Monday morning’s meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Finance.

“The words I would use again is ‘cautiously optimistic,’ ” Hardy said. “We are five-twelfths the way through the fiscal year and everything is on projection. Budget numbers are coming in exactly where we thought it would be.”

November shortfalls were in severance, behind $3.5 million; B&O tax, behind $3.3 million; tobacco, behind $2.9 million; and insurance premium, behind $2.6 million.

Hardy said natural gas production is good, but the price is lower in West Virginia than around the country.

“There is a regional bubble with lower natural gas than what we see nationally,” Hardy said.

Muchow said there is a lag in severance tax relative to the estimates with year-to-date still down.

General Revenue Fund Severance Tax collections for November totaled more than $31.6 million, which is about $3.5 million below estimate but 19 percent higher than last year’s receipts.

Cumulative collections were $112.3 million – $16.4 million below estimate but 51 percent above last year-to-date receipts.

Hardy said shortfalls were partly offset by nearly $3.8 million monthly surplus in personal income tax collections, a $1.6 million surplus in consumer sales tax collections and a $1.1 million surplus in corporate net income tax.

Net collections for the month were $5.8 million short of estimate.

The road fund revenue has increased because of changes made by the Legislature in the special session with increases to Division of Motor Vehicles fees and increases to the wholesale gas tax, Hardy said.

State Road Fund collections for November were $63.8 million, about $9 million above estimate and 16.1 percent above last year’s receipts. Cumulative State Road Fund collections were $13.6 million above estimate and 13.6 percent above last year’s receipts.

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

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