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Energy price decline erodes W.Va. tax collections

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The global decline in energy prices, while good for consumers, is taking its toll on state tax collections and may force revenue officials to take extraordinary actions to ensure the state ends the year with its books in balance.

The state’s General Revenue Fund posted a $27 million shortfall in December due mainly to lackluster collections from personal income and severance tax collections. The monthly shortfall pushed the state’s running year-to-date deficit to $34 million for the budget year that ends June 30.

The December deficit comes one month after the state posted a $30.5 million surplus in November. From a revenue standpoint, that was the state’s best financial performance in several months.

Officials last month were cautious to avoid saying they thought the state’s revenue trend was turning around. On Monday, they acknowledged the November revenue bump was more of a fluke.

“(November) seemed to be a little too good to be true, and it was…

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