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June gain caps a ‘good’ year

POSTED: July 21, 2014 3:01 p.m.
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Sen. Jack Hill

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Robust June revenue collections of $1.76 billion produced a gain of $182.3 million for the month, an 11.5 percent increase. June’s fiscal year-end report pushed total fiscal year 2014 totals to $17.88 billion in total collections, with a total gain of $879.2 million for the year or a 5.2 percent increase … by any account a “good” year moving the state in a positive direction.

June saw a very positive month for individual income taxes, growing $93.8 million on total revenues of $885.2 million or an 11.9 percent increase. Mainly the increase came from withholding payments being up $64.5 million but refunds were also down $30.2 million.

Net sales taxes showed an increase of $34.2 million or 8.3 percent on total revenues of $448.7 million. When combined with the tag/title fee (replaced sales tax on new cars) the “effective” sales tax gain is 7.89 percent, smaller for the first time.

Motor fuel taxes continue to grow a little, showing a combined 8.6 percent increase for the month. Corporate income taxes showed a positive report for June, a gain of $44.2 million. Tobacco taxes were up slightly at 2.2 percent but alcoholic beverages were down 1.8 percent.

Tag/title fees showed an increase of $5.3 million or a 6.1 percent increase on totals of $92.3 million.

FY 2014 — 5.2 percent revenue increase a positive for state
There is a lot more positive than negative in looking at FY14 state revenues. In fact, the total $17.88 billion revenue figure is the highest ever for the state and has passed the years leading up to the recession. Since the budget projections for the current fiscal year were set at 3.8 percent, these revenues place the state some $213 million over budget which will mean a substantial addition to the revenue shortfall reserve, the state’s rainy day fund.

At a positive 2.4 percent, individual income taxes accounted for almost half of the total revenue increase (5.2 percent) for the year. But the category remained at exactly 50 percent of total revenues, or $8.96 billion.

Sales taxes have begun to show growth, now that a complete year has passed, with the elimination of the sales tax on new autos and the implementation of a one-time title fee. But for the year, net sales taxes were negative at -2.9 percent. But when combined with the $626.2 million increase in tag/title fees, the “effective” sales tax total shows an increase of $472.6 million or 8.1 percent.

Motor fuel taxes totaled over $1 billion ($1.016 billion) in collections, an increase of $41.4 million or 4.2 percent. Motor fuel excise taxes increased 4.6 percent and sales taxes 4.0 percent.

Corporate income taxes remained very strong, increasing $147.0 million or 18.4 percent for the year.  The category represented 16.7 percent of the total increase for the year. Tobacco and alcoholic beverages were up 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

The tag/title fee mentioned earlier totaled over $1 billion ($1.079 billion) with an increase of $626.2 million. This increase represented 71.2 percent of the total increase in revenues for the year.

The bottom line is that the state made progress this fiscal year, grew revenues and generally showed satisfactory increases in all categories. That’s the definition of success in my book.

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7092 (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

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