CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Department of Revenue released revenue numbers Thursday, March 4, that fell short of expectations by $17.5 million for the month of February.
Revenue Cabinet Secretary Robert S. Kiss said that although the projected budget gap numbers appear to be trending higher than originally anticipated, the problem is still solvable.
“Governor Tomblin’s plan, which he presented to the Legislature in January, gives us the solution,” Kiss said. “He laid out what needs to happen for us to fill this gap in a formula that includes budget cuts, reasoned and responsible revenue increases taking effect April 1, reallocation of funds and expenses, as well as some limited use of Rainy Day Funds.
“It’s now more than ever critical for the Legislature to either adopt Governor Tomblin’s plan to shore up the current year’s budget or come up with a responsible plan that generates an additional $29 million for Fiscal Year 2016 and assures a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2017.”
Other collections of interest in February:
— Severance Tax: Collections totaled nearly $25.2 million for the month, an amount that was more than $31.1 million below estimate and 53 percent below prior year receipts. Cumulative General Revenue Fund Severance tax collections of $145.5 million were $142 million below estimate and 46 percent below prior year receipts. Low energy prices continue to hinder collections.
— Personal Income Tax: Collections totaled $89.1 million in February and $1.12 billion for the year to date. Year-to-date collections remain below original estimate by $19 million. For the month of February, lower tax refunds and higher revenue from return payments partially offset a decrease in withholding tax collections.
— Consumer Sales Tax: Collections were 5.5 percent below prior year receipts and nearly $6.4 million below estimate.
— Insurance Premium Tax: Collections totaled nearly $20 million and were nearly $12 million above estimate and 247 percent ahead of prior year receipts. The huge gains in February will come at the expense of March receipts for a tax due on March 1. Cumulative collections of more than $76 million were $10.9 million ahead of estimate and 22.2 percent ahead of prior year receipts due to the timing receipt alteration from the prior year.
— Tobacco Product Excise Tax: collections totaled $8.5 million in February. Monthly collections were more than $1.2 million above estimate. Cumulative collections of $67.5 million were $0.1 million below estimate and 3.5 percent below prior year receipts.
— State Road Fund: Collections of nearly $55.7 million fell short of the February estimate by $13.0 million and prior year receipts by 21.8 percent. Cumulative collections of $463.2 million were $2.1 million below estimate and 4.9 percent below prior year collections.