W.Va.’s revenue collections fall short again in April

Staff Report

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Department of Revenue today released General Revenue Fund numbers that show weak April collections mostly due to a reduction in year-end tax filings, including a severe drop in nonresident withholding.

Last month’s General Revenue Fund collections of $484.869 million were 13 percent below prior year receipts and nearly $72.3 million below estimate. Cumulative collections of nearly $3.33 billion were $218.7 million below estimate and 4.3 percent ($149.9 million) below prior year adjusted receipts.

Revenue Secretary Robert S. Kiss said the deficits for the month and year-to-date would have been much larger if not for the use of various additional revenues to help close the current year fiscal gap. Those revenues accounted for more than $19.9 million of total collections in April and nearly $110.4 million for the year-to-date. The total year-to-date revenue gap prior to the addition of these revenues grew to $329 million through the end of April.

Collections of interest include:

— Personal Income Tax: Collections totaled $287.7 million, an amount that was $44.4 million below estimate and more than 18 percent less than prior year adjusted receipts. The sharp decrease in April receipts largely reflected lower year-end payments on tax returns due in mid- April. Annual return payments fell by 10 percent ($13.9 million) from the previous year. In addition, nonresident withholding tax receipts fell by more than 69 percent ($34.8 million). Lower profits and royalties from energy producing properties accounted for the bulk of the decline in income tax receipts.

These revenue decreases were only partially offset by a 2.5 percent increase in monthly wage withholding tax receipts.

Monthly personal income tax refund payments totaled $46.9 million in April, an increase of 9.3 percent from the prior year. Estimated payments fell by 12.9 percent.

Cumulative income collections were more than $65.2 million below estimate ($97.1 million below estimate after discounting the $31.8 million gap fill adjustment) and more than 4 percent below prior year adjusted receipts.

— Severance Tax: Collections totaled nearly $22.1 million for the month, an amount that was $16.9 million below estimate. These receipts included nearly $8.2 million of additional severance tax diverted to the General Fund for gap-closing purposes. Absent these additional revenues, monthly severance tax collections were roughly $25.1 million below estimate and 56.7 percent below prior year receipts. Cumulative General Revenue Fund Severance tax collections of $203.7 million were $158.7 million below estimate and 43 percent below prior year adjusted receipts. Low energy prices continue to hinder collections.

— Consumer Sales Tax: Collections of $95.4 million were 6.1 percent below prior year receipts and nearly $1.1 million below estimate. Nearly 80 percent of the monthly revenue decrease was due to the impact of the quarterly local sales tax distribution, which rose from nearly $4.1 million last year to nearly $11.4 million this year. Discounting the impact of changes in local sales tax receipts and distributions, net State sales tax collections fell by roughly 1 percent during the month. Cumulative adjusted collections of more than $1 billion were $24.5 million below estimate and slightly below prior year receipts.

— Corporation Net Income Tax: Collections totaled $15.1 million and cumulative collections totaled nearly $120.0 million. Cumulative receipts were $17.9 million below estimate and more than 28 percent below prior year receipts.

— State Road Fund: Collections of nearly $55.4 million exceeded estimate by nearly $8.6 million, but fell short of prior year receipts by 13.6 percent. Cumulative collections of $572.6 million were nearly $1.4 million below estimate and 5.6 percent below prior year collections.

Staff Report


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