The West Virginia Department of Revenue has released revenue numbers for August showing a decline in the top three revenue sources in the state’s tax base – severance, personal income and consumer sales taxes.
August General Revenue Fund collections of $313.7 million were $16.3 million below estimate. Cumulative collections of $538.7 million were $48.9 million below estimate and 2.2 percent – $12.1 million – below prior year receipts.
Specifically, the biggest deficits for the month were in collection of Severance Tax ($16.6 million), Consumer Sales Tax (nearly $4.0 million) and Personal Income Tax ($2.5 million). The biggest deficits for the year-to-date were in the collection of Consumer Sales tax ($26.0 million), Severance Tax ($14.5 million), Personal Income Tax ($13.7 million) and Corporation Net Income Tax ($4.6 million).
Revenue Secretary Robert S. Kiss attributes the shortfall to a number of factors.
“As has been the case throughout the last fiscal year, the energy sector in West Virginia continues to be plagued by low energy prices,” Kiss said. “We are still experiencing the aftermath of the June flooding with businesses not being able to reopen and displaced employees without a workplace. Both situations have taken a toll on consumer confidence.
“Additionally, we are just not seeing an uptick in employment growth. We really need to see that situation turn around soon to start to see real improvement,” Kiss added.
August’s deficits were partially offset by the Insurance Premium Tax ($6.1 million), Tobacco Products Tax ($2.1 million) and B&O Tax ($1.6 million).
Major collections of interest include:
• Personal Income Tax collections were 2.1 percent below prior year receipts due to a 2 percent decline in monthly withholding tax receipts, a decline of more than 42 percent in nonresident withholding tax receipts and an increase of more than 11 percent in monthly tax refund payments. Collections fell $2.5 million below the $137.5 million estimate for the month. Cumulative collections were $13.7 million below the $265.1 million estimate and 1.7 percent below prior year receipts.
• Consumer Sales Tax collections were 0.4 percent below prior year receipts and nearly $4 million below estimate. Net collections were down roughly 1.7 percent from prior year receipts and were a significant improvement over an adjusted 11.2 percent decline in the prior month. Cumulative adjusted collections were down from prior year receipts by 6.3 percent with most of the decline occurring in July. The cumulative deficit in General Revenue Fund sales tax collections grew to more than $26 million with most of the shortfall attributable to July collections.
Cumulative General Revenue Fund sales tax collections were down by 10.5 percent as compared with an overall decline in state sales tax collections of 6.3 percent.
• Severance Tax collections totaled $18.8 million for the month, an amount that was more than $16.6 million below estimate and 21.6 percent below prior year receipt. The state also deposited nearly $7.7 million in collections to the Infrastructure Bond Fund in August. Total August collections were actually 0.8 percent ahead of last year.
Cumulative General Revenue Fund Severance tax collections of slightly more than $12.1 million were $14.5 million below estimate and nearly 18 percent below prior year receipts. Cumulative collections for all funds were down 13.2 percent from the prior year.
• B&O Tax collections of $13.8 million were $1.6 million above estimate and more than 41 percent above prior year receipts. Year-to-date collections of nearly $19.4 million were nearly $1 million above estimate and 1.8 percent below prior year receipts.
• Tobacco Product Excise Tax collections totaled nearly $24.4 million in August. Monthly collections were $2.1 million above estimate. Cumulative collections of $37.9 million were $7.8 million above estimate and nearly double prior year receipts.
• State Road Fund collections of more than $67.9 million were $3.6 million above estimate and 11.5 percent above prior year receipts. Cumulative State Road Fund collections of nearly $125.6 million were $5.9 million above estimate and 1.5 percent above prior year receipts.
For a detailed look at West Virginia’s revenue reports, visit www.budget.wv.gov/reportsandcharts/revenuereports.