Virginia October general fund revenues up 9.6 percent

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Virginia general fund revenues rose 9.6 percent in October, driven by solid growth in payroll withholding, individual nonwithholding, sales, and recordation tax collections.

“We have worked to ensure that our economy is based on a diverse array of industries and businesses, and our positive revenue numbers show the benefits,” said Gov. Ralph Northam. “I am proud of our success in building a Commonwealth where opportunity is equitable and accessible to every Virginian. As we head into the 2020 General Assembly session, my legislative agenda will focus on ways we maintain and grow this momentum.”

Regular monthly collections are due in withholding, sales taxes and most minor sources. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total revenue collections rose 8.5 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of a 1.2 percent increase.

“While October is not typically a significant month for collections, all revenue sources continue to perform ahead of expectations,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne.

Collections of payroll withholding taxes rose 5.5 percent in October. Individual income tax nonwithholding payments were up 37.7 percent for the month. Collections of sales and use taxes, reflecting September sales, rose 8.4 percent in October. Finally, collections of wills, suits, deeds, and contracts—mainly recordation tax collections—were $42.3 million in October, compared with $33.3 million in October of last year, a 27.0 percent increase.

On a year-to-date basis, total revenues are up 8.5 percent through October, well ahead of the annual forecast of 1.2 percent growth. Collections of payroll withholding taxes—63 percent of General Fund revenues—increased 5.7 percent, ahead of the annual forecast of 4.2 percent growth. Sales tax collections—17 percent of General Fund revenues—increased 8.0 percent through October, ahead of the annual forecast calling for a 4.2 percent increase.

The Joint Advisory Board of Economists (JABE) met October 17 to assess recent economic developments and the economic outlook for the current and next biennium. The Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates (GACRE) will meet on November 25 to evaluate both the JABE economic recommendations and revenue collections through October. GACRE members’ recommendations will be incorporated into the general fund revenue forecast to be released on December 17 when the Governor meets with the money committees of the General Assembly.

The full report is available here.

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