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‘Budget fixes’ improve WV monthly revenue report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After months of bleeding red, the state’s revenue collections for February look positive on paper – but only because of nearly $70 million of “budget fixes” used to close deficits in the current 2015-16 budget year, state Department of Revenue officials said Thursday.

“To the unsophisticated eye, it may look like February was a relatively good month, but that is not true,” said Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss.

On paper, February tax collections of $312.27 million were up $90.6 million over February 2015 and $51.6 million over estimates for the month.

“On the surface, the number you received for February looks pretty good,” Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow noted.

However, the 2016 figure was bolstered with Rainy Day fund and other funding transfers totaling $58.54 million to help balance the 2015-16 state budget. Also, the revenue report inflated personal income tax collections by about $20 million with funds transferred under legislation passed in February.

Once those funds were backed out, February tax collections missed estimates by about $17.8 million…

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