Gov. Justice optimistic as January revenue falls just short of estimates

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -
UPDATE: 02/04/19 4:05 P.M.

West Virginia collected $422.3 million in revenue in January, slightly less than budget estimates, but Gov. Jim Justice remains pleased with the state’s financial direction.

January collections were $3 million behind the monthly estimate, but still 7.4 percent ahead of prior-year receipts, Justice said.

As a result, he remains confident that there will be a surplus at the end of the 2019 fiscal year.

“I always want to err on the conservative side, we’re doing this the right way and I’m good with it,” Justice said. “We anticipated a slight dip down at the beginning of the third quarter. But the reality is just this, all the way across the board the numbers are still spectacular. I love the numbers and where they are.”

Official revenue estimates were revised upward by $142 million at the beginning of January to account for an increases in personal income-tax, consumer-sales-tax and severance-tax estimates.


ORIGINAL STORY

West Virginia's General Revenue Fund had a surplus of $44.8 million in December 2018, resulting in a total surplus of $185.9 million in the first 6 months of Fiscal Year 2019, which began July 1, 2018.

Gov. Jim Justice announced the surplus on Tuesday, with the release of the December 2018 reports on the General Revenue Fund and Cash Flow.

The reports also show West Virginia's year-to-date tax collections of more than $2.234 billion were $185.9 million above the estimate and 13.5% ahead of prior year tax collections.

The reports contribute the increase in the state's tax collections to high growth in Severance Tax, Corporation Net Income Tax, Consumer Sales Tax and Personal Income Tax collections.

Year-to-date General Fund Severance Tax collections were 51.1% ($70.7 million) ahead of last year.

December General Fund Severance Tax collections of $45.3 million were nearly $11.0 million above estimate and 73.9% ahead of prior year receipts.

Year-to-date Corporation Net Income Tax collections were 42.2% ($29.0 million) ahead of last year.

December Corporation Net Income Tax collections were 101% ($19.9 million) ahead of last year.

Year-to-date General Fund Consumer Sales and Use Tax collections were 13.3% ($79.2 million) ahead of last year.

December Consumer Sales and Use Tax collections of nearly $124.2 million were $7.6 million above estimate and 12.4% above prior year receipts.

Year-to-date Personal Income Tax collections were 9.1% ($80.3 million) ahead of last year.

December Personal Income Tax collections of $169.9 million were nearly $7.4 million above estimate and 1.3% below prior year receipts.

Year-to-date State Road Fund Tax collections were 61.8% ($498.1 million) ahead of the total collected in Fiscal Year 2018.

In December, total State Road Fund collections of $88.0 million were $15.1 million below estimate, but still 9.5% above prior year receipts. The shortfall was due to a $14.6 million shortfall in federal reimbursements.

You can read the full Monthly Revenue Fund and Cash Flow Reports by clicking the "West Virginia Tax Revenue Reports" link in the "Related Links" section of this story.

For details on other revenues, go to www.budget.wv.gov/reportsandcharts/revenuereports