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State Budget Director reports General Fund receipts drop precipitously (33.6 percent) in April


State Budget Director John Hicks reported Wednesday that April’s General Fund receipts dropped precipitously due to the impact of the novel coronavirus and the movement of the income tax filing deadline to July 15.

Collections fell 33.6 percent, or $432.9 million, compared to April of last year. Nearly 90 percent of the decline was from individual and corporate income taxes. Total revenues for the month were $857.0 million, compared to $1,289.9 million received during April 2019. Receipts have now fallen 1.2 percent for the first 10 months of FY20.

Hicks’ office recently released an unofficial General Fund revenue estimate for FY20 that called for a revenue shortfall of between $318.7 million and $495.7 million.

Hicks noted that impacts from COVID-19 and delayed income tax filing deadlines have combined to result in much lower state tax revenues for the month of April.

John Hicks

“The economy has been hit hard by policies necessary to limit the spread of the virus and to save lives,” Hick said. “The decline in individual income tax receipts was also greatly influenced by the movement of the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. Withholding income tax receipts and sales tax receipts are most indicative of the effects of the economic conditions, declining by 7.5 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.

“April’s Road Fund receipts dropped by $43.9 million or 30.1 percent, with the usage tax from vehicle sales falling by 60.1 percent and motor fuels tax by 11.8 percent.

“Looking ahead to the last two months of the fiscal year, the economic consequences of job losses, impacts on business, and significant curtailment of consumer activity are expected to continue. The Consensus Forecasting Group will be revising the FY20 official revenue estimates for the General and Road Funds in May. The new estimate will guide the actions of the Governor in balancing the current year’s budget.”

Among the major accounts:

• Sales and use tax receipts fell 6.4 percent. Collections compared to last April were aided by collections from online Marketplace providers. Year-to-date collections have grown 5.3 percent.

• Corporation income and the limited liability entity tax receipts fell $122.2 million, or 70.1 percent in April. Both receipts from declarations and net returns decreased significantly in April in response to the change in payment deadlines.

• Individual income tax collections fell 42.2 percent, or $264.2 million, in April and have declined 2.6 percent though the first ten months of FY20. Net returns and declaration payments fell sharply because of the change in due dates. Withholding receipts fell 7.5 percent.

• Property tax collections fell 39.5 percent, or $11.3 million for the month. In-person services at the County Clerks’ offices along with a 90-day grace period on vehicle registrations has impacted the timing of motor vehicle property tax payments. Receipts are up 1.5 percent year-to-date.

• Cigarette tax receipts declined 21.1 percent in April. March receipts grew an unusual 52.5 percent, due to several wholesalers increasing their stamp purchase quantities in reaction to immediate demand and to prepare for potential supply contingencies. Receipts have grown 0.2 percent year-to-date.

• Coal severance tax receipts fell 53.8 percent to $4.1 million and are down 30.2 percent year-to-date.

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Road Fund receipts fell 30.1 percent in April with total collections of $101.7 million. This is $43.9 million less than what was collected last year. Year-to-date collection now stand at -1.4 percent.

The recently released unofficial revenue estimate calls for Road Fund revenues to decline between 8.3 percent and 13.3 percent in FY20 which would result in a revenue shortfall of between $116.4 million and $194.6 million.

Among the accounts, motor fuel revenue fell 11.8 percent in April. April fuel revenues reflect March activity; the full economic impacts will be reflected in May’s receipts.

Motor vehicle usage tax collections fell 60.1 percent in the month as auto dealerships were severely limited in their business practices. License and privilege receipts decreased 20.2 percent.

From Office of State Budget Director


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