August revenue numbers below estimate


Staff Report



CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Department of Revenue released revenue numbers for the month of August on Thurs. Sept. 3.

General Revenue Fund collections for August were $299 million and collections were $7.5 million below the estimate, but 3.4 percent ahead of last year. Year-to-date collections of $550.8 million were $12.3 million below estimate and 2.2 percent below prior year receipts.

Revenue Cabinet Secretary Robert S. Kiss attributes the deficit to a familiar problem – lagging energy prices for both coal and natural gas.

“Lower energy prices are the consistent culprit behind a near $20 million shortfall in cumulative Severance Tax collections,” Kiss said. “Most other sources of General Revenue were at or slightly above estimate for August.”

A strong cumulative gain in Personal Income Tax collections helped limit the overall General Revenue Fund gap to an amount that was $7.7 million less than the Severance Tax shortfall. Specifically, Personal Income Tax collections of $137.9 million were $14.2 million above estimate in August and 16.2 percent ahead of last year’s numbers.

August Personal Income Tax revenues benefited from a surge in withholding tax collections, revenue timing factors, and a 40 percent decrease in monthly tax refunds due to gains associated with the phase-out of the alternative fuel motor vehicle tax credit program. “Declining payroll employment numbers will most likely mean that we will see a smaller increase in collections in the coming months,” Kiss said. “We’re watching the situation.”

General Revenue Fund Severance Tax collections totaled slightly more than $24 million. Monthly collections were nearly $16.2 million below estimate and 34.4 percent below prior year receipts. Cumulative General Revenue Fund Severance Tax collections of $14.7 million were nearly $20 million below estimate and 58.5 percent below prior year receipts.

Total cumulative state and local severance tax collections from all funds were more than 37 percent below prior year receipts. Per statutory requirements, the first $22.5 million in Severance Tax collections for the year were deposited in the State’s Infrastructure Bond Fund.

Revenue from the regular gross receipts tax on coal is down nearly 43 percent during the first two months of this fiscal year. Revenue from the regular gross receipts tax on natural gas is down nearly 22 percent during the first two months of this fiscal year. The workers’ compensation tax on units of coal sales and units of natural gas sales paints a slightly different picture. Revenue from the per ton tax on coal sales is down more than 14 percent and revenue from the unit tax on natural gas sales is up 30 percent.

Consumer Sales Tax collections totaled nearly $104 million in August. Monthly collections were $3.5 million below estimate but 3.8 percent ahead of prior year receipts. Cumulative collections of nearly $188 million were $0.6 million above estimate and 4 percent below prior year receipts.

August State Road Fund collections totaled nearly $60.9 million, but fell short of the monthly estimate by $5.1 million.

Secretary Kiss, Deputy Secretary Mark Muchow and State Auditor Glen Gainer will host a conference call for media today at 1:30 p.m. To participate, please contact Lalena Price, communications director, at 304-558-1017.

For a detailed look at West Virginia’s revenue reports, please visit www.budget.wv.gov/reportsandcharts/revenuereports.

Staff Report

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