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Georgia April state revenues edge upward

POSTED: May 23, 2018 11:26 a.m.

This week we take a look at State Revenues for April, a month usually marked by large amounts of refunds as taxpayers file returns.

Income taxes lethargic
April revenues edged up slightly, 2.2 percent in April following a negative month in March. Individual Income Taxes, the largest category, was lethargic at 0.1 percent gain following a negative month in March. Corporate Income Taxes came in at a positive 5.4 percent and Net Sales Taxes was steady at 2.5 percent.
Inside the Individual Income Tax category, Refunds were up $45.5 million or 8 percent. All other categories were up, if slightly, with the important Individual Withholding Taxes up 0.7 percent and Individual payments up 2.8 percent.

The smaller 'cats and dogs' — generally positive
The smaller categories were generally up, but Title Ad Valorem Taxes were down -8.1 percent. Tobacco Taxes were up 7.5 percent and Alcoholic Beverages increased 3.2 percent. Tag, Title and Fees were up 27.4 percent. Fuel Tax receipts were up 7.9 percent while Impact Fees increased 4.5 percent and Hotel/Motel fees were positive at 1.4 percent. All together the Transportation Taxes and Fees were up $11.9 million or 7.2 percent.

Year-to-date totals still very positive
It's hard not to like Georgia's Year to Date numbers, which are still among the best in the Southeastern states. Overall Revenues have grown at a 5.0 percent rate this fiscal year and the total gain for the year so far over last year is a whopping $909.2 million.
Individual Income Taxes still show 7.3 percent gain, corporate Income Taxes 5.1 percent gain and Net Sales Taxes, up 3.5 percent. Title Ad Valorem Taxes are negative at -7.8 percent but Tobacco Taxes are up 1.7 percent and Alcoholic Beverages up 0.7 percent.
Total Transportation/Fuel Taxes and Fees are up $46.3 million or 2.89 percent YTD.

Ahead of budget and ahead of most of the Southeast
We track revenue trends with a 12 month trailing average which takes the current month and goes back 11 more months and averages revenue growth. Georgia's 12 month trailing average is 5.2 percent. We track other states as well to compare.

12 month trailing revenue averages by state
Through April:
➤ Georgia — 5.2 percent
➤ Tennessee — 4.4 percent
➤ Virginia — 6.1 percent — One month increase of 17.8 percent
➤ Texas — 10.9 percent — Starting to recover from oil industry reductions
➤ Alabama — 1.7 percent
➤ Louisiana — 8.8 percent — Has a $600 million budget deficit
➤ West Virginia — 4.5 percent
➤ Arkansas — 3.4 percent
➤ Mississippi — -1.6 percent
➤ Kentucky — 2.7 percent

Through March:
➤ North Carolina — 2.2 percent
Florida — 4.5 percent
South Carolina — 7.3 percent

So, Georgia continues to move ahead, even if at a slowing rate. Some concern occurred when total jobs created fell for the second month. But unemployment claims are not up.

Full transcripts of bills may be found at http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx . Simply type the bill number into the box at the top left-hand corner of the screen and specify if it is in the House or the Senate. The FY 2019 budget (H.B. 684) may be found at http://www.senate.ga.gov/sbeo/en-US/AppropriationsDocuments.aspx. As always, I welcome any questions you may have.

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