CHARLESTON, W.VA. – At the seven-month mark in the fiscal year, West Virginia’s cumulative overall General Revenue Fund collections are running at 99 percent of estimates despite a slowdown in collections last month.
January revenues hit a speed bump due to a higher-than-expected corporate income tax refunds and a slowdown in severance tax collections. Last month’s General Revenue Fund collections of $393.1 million were $28.2 million below estimate and 2.1 percent below prior year receipts.
“The financial health of the state remains good and we think everything is going to be fine, but this slight downturn is a reminder to us all that we need to continue managing our resources in a fiscally responsible and prudent way,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “We had a really strong December and sometimes when that happens, a slower month will follow. We are still very much in the ballpark to hit our revenue estimates for the year.”
Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said it important to keep the numbers in perspective. Cumulative General Revenue Fund collections of more than $2.36 billion were 4.3% (i.e., $97.9 million) above prior year receipts.
Hardy said the state is at 99 percent – that’s 99 cents on the dollar – of estimates with five months to go, two of which – April and June – are generally strong collection months for West Virginia.
“Add to that the fact that West Virginia is experiencing positive revenue growth – about 4.3 percent ahead of last year,” Hardy said. “We are heartened by the growth we are tracking.”
January Personal Income Tax collections exceeded estimate by nearly $7.3 million due to a doubling of non-resident withholding tax collections and a 12.3 percent increase in estimated income tax payments. Monthly withholding tax receipts were slightly above estimate and 4.1 percent ahead of last year. Cumulative collections of nearly $1.1 billion were nearly $40.3 million above estimate and 5.4 percent above prior year receipts. Cumulative withholding tax collections were 4.9 percent above prior year receipts.
Consumer Sales Tax was down $4.7 million, but collections were 3 percent ahead of last year’s numbers. Severance Tax was down $9.5 million for the month largely due to a temporary decline in natural gas prices in late fall.
“Since then, natural gas prices have rebounded and we expect severance tax performance to improve in the coming months,” Hardy said.
State Road Fund collections of $85.3 million were $1.4 million above estimate and 17 percent ahead of last year. Cumulative State Road Fund collections were $11.1 million above estimate.
For details on other revenues, go to www.budget.wv.gov/reportsandcharts/revenuereports.
Lalena Price | Communications Director
304.558.1017 | Lalena.D.Price@wv.gov