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January General Fund receipts increase 9.2 percent over last year; Road Fund receipts up 4.2 percent

State Budget Director John Hicks reported that January’s General Fund receipts grew 9.2 percent compared to January of last year, an increase of $85.1 million.

Receipts were boosted by the largest ever monthly collection of sales and use tax receipts. Receipts have grown 3.6 percent for the first seven months of fiscal year 2020 (FY20).

The official revenue estimate calls for 1.6 percent growth in revenues over FY19 totals. Collections for the remainder of the year can fall 1.1 percent and still meet the official estimate.

Hicks noted that General Fund sales tax receipts have now completed the holiday cycle.

John Hicks

“As noted in the December monthly report, we expected a bump in January sales tax collections,” Hick said. “A more accurate picture of the holiday season is portrayed by combining receipts from November, December and January. The three-month totals show that sales tax receipts increased 6.0 percent, individual income tax receipts increased by 4.1 percent, and total General Fund collections increased by 3.7 percent.

“These growth rates indicate an acceleration in the pace of collections versus the 1.1 percent growth rate in the first quarter of the fiscal year, suggesting modest growth in the underlying economy. We will continue to monitor the pattern of revenues, but at the current time we are squarely on pace to meet the official estimates rendered by the Consensus Forecasting Group in December.”

Among the major accounts:

• Individual income tax collections grew 13.0 percent for the month on the strength of declarations and withholding receipts. Withholding receipts increased by 4.1 percent over the prior three months. Revenues have grown 3.5 percent through the first seven months of FY20.

• Sales and use tax receipts posted their largest monthly total in history, growing 11.2 percent. Collections were aided by a later than normal holiday shopping season which pushed a portion of holiday revenues from December into January. Revenues have grown 7.1 percent year-to date.

• Corporation income tax receipts fell $11.5 million for the month and are down 20.1 percent in the first seven months of the fiscal year. January revenues were adversely affected by a large refund for the second consecutive month.

• Property tax collections rose 8.8 percent in January and have increased 1.7 percent year-to-date.

• Cigarette tax receipts decreased 15.7 percent for the month and have fallen 0.9 percent year-to-date.

• Coal severance tax receipts fell 28.6 percent in January. Collections are down 19.9 percent through the first seven months of the fiscal year.

Road Fund receipts increased 4.2 percent in January to $131.6 million on the continued strength of motor vehicle usage tax revenue. Year-to-date collections have increased 1.5 percent.

The official Road Fund revenue estimate calls for revenues to grow 0.4 percent for the fiscal year. Based on year-to-date tax collections, revenues can decline 1.0 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year and still hit the official forecast.

Among the accounts, motor fuels collections rose 0.1 percent. Motor vehicle usage revenue grew 10.4 percent, and license and privilege receipts rose 4.9 percent.

From Office of State Budget Director

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