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NOTES FROM THE SENATE

BY SENATOR JACK HILL,

4th DISTRICT

 

September 15, 2014

August state revenues gained 3.5%, following July's gain of 5.5%, resulting in a two month gain of 4.5%.  August revenues totaled $1.39 billion with a gain of $47.0 million.  Revenues needed to grow $43 million for the month to meet budget, so there's about a 10% overage.  Individual Income taxes were essentially flat, dropping one tenth of a percent to a 2.1% gain or only $14.4 million on total income tax revenues of $713.9 million. Within that category, Individual Withholding tax collections were up $28.7 million while refunds were up about half that amount, -$14.7 million.
 
Sales Taxes, now matching like months with Tag/Title fee removed, have started showing an increase.  In August, net state sales taxes grew $34.2 million or 8.4% on revenues of $442.1 million.
 
Motor Fuel revenues returned to positive territory, showing a combined gain of 3.0% on collections of $85.0 million.  Both motor fuel sales taxes and excise taxes grew, at 2.7% and 3.4% respectively.
 
Corporate Income taxes slipped in the second month of the quarter, showing a negative -13.0% on revenues of only $13.3 million. Within that category, refunds were up $10.9 million, about the same as the increase for Estimated payments, $11.0 million.
 
Tobacco and Alcoholic revenues were up and down, at -3.2% and plus 3.2% respectively.
 
Motor Vehicle Tag and Title fees kept increasing even though those were being reported the same way a year ago.  Tag/Title revenues rose $8.6 million or 9.9% on total fees of $95.7 million for the month.
 
Other fees and taxes, deposited but not processed, were negative in August by -$10.7 million.
 
AFTER TWO MONTHS, SOME TRENDS APPEAR, BUT A GOOD START
Maybe two months in the doldrums of summer are not much of a sign so far, but two months is two/thirds of a quarter and we should be aware of these Year to Date totals.
 
Total State revenues show $2.88 billion so far with a gain after only two months of $125.0 million.  This is about $38 million over the budgeted amount needed so far, so although early in the year, the state is ahead of forecast and current spending.  That gain, percentage-wise, shows 4.5%, a relatively healthy number.
 
Individual Income taxes, half of state revenue has slipped YTD to only a 1.8% increase on revenues of $1.48 billion with only a $25.6 million gain.
 
Sales Taxes, about one third of revenues, continue to show positive gains, some $59.6 million YTD, or a 7.1% gain on net sales tax collections of $897.6 million.
 
Motor Fuel Tax collections, which are designated for transportation, has totaled $169.5 million YTD, but is negative for the two months at -0.9%
 
Corporate Income Taxes are positive after two months, up $10.4 million or 35.7%.   Tobacco tax collections are negative at -3.7% with Alcoholic Beverages are positive at 4.7% YTD.
 
Tag/Title fees continue to show a gain, up YTD $21.8 million or 12.8%.  Other Fees and Taxes add another $9.4 million to total revenues but were unprocessed.
 
There is nothing more important than meeting the targets month by month set by the budget the state is expending.  The good news is that the state is growing ahead of the amount needed to fund the budget and shows a healthy overage of $38 million. 
 

 

 

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta , GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7094 (fax)
E-mail at Jack.Hill@senate.ga.gov
Or Call Toll-Free at
1-800-367-3334 Day or Night
Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811

 

 

Visit the Legislature Home Page at www.legis.state.ga.us


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