December state revenues came in with a big gain for the month, $158 million, or a 9 percent growth rate on revenues totaling $1.9 billion. This makes December 2014 the highest revenue December in at least five years.
Individual income tax collections were the big producers, coming in with a 13.4 percent gain for the month, up $128.4 million on revenues of $1.08 billion. Within that category, withholding payments were up $91.5 million, or 10.7 percent, and estimated income tax payments were up $56.5 million or 65 percent. Refunds in that category were only up $16.2 million. Withholding and estimated payments are good indicators of payroll activity and small business profits.
Net sales taxes to the state totaled $431 million, with net state collections up $16.6 million or a solid 4 percent. These are November sales tax collections. Christmas collections will be reported in January’s return. Local governments’ distribution was up 6.8 percent for the month.
Even with falling prices, motor fuel collections were up for the month, 1.5 percent on sales taxes on fuel and up 6.6 percent on excise taxes by the gallon.
Corporate income taxes finished the three-month period with a gain of $33.8 million and showed a gain year-to-date as will be examined below. Tobacco and alcoholic beverage taxes were both down for the month, at -8 percent and -2.3 percent, respectively.
For the first time, I believe, title/tag fees were negative, showing an $18 million decline after an adjustment of -$6.2 million for separate maintaining of tax revenue for IRP AAVT/trailers.
Half-year totals very positive at 5.7 percent
With half the fiscal year in the books, the six-month’s totals, including the big month in December, look fantastic. Overall, the state has taken in $9.6 billion, some $516.8 million over 2014, a growth rate of 5.7 percent.
Individual income tax collections lead the way, totaling $5.1 billion, producing $338.6 million of the increase YTD, a 7.1 percent increase.
Sales taxes are showing very positive returns, clipping along at a 5.9 percent increase on $2.66 billion in revenues producing a $148.4 million increase. Local governments’ distribution is showing a 6.9 percent increase YTD.
Motor fuel tax collections continue to struggle against last year, falling 4.3 percent in sales taxes on fuel and flat at -0.3 percent on excise taxes. Corporate taxes returned to positive territory, showing for the six months, a $20.3 million increase or a 5.2 percent gain. Tobacco taxes are negative at -3.2 percent and positive for alcoholic beverages at a 3.5 percent increase.
Tag/title fees are positive for the year so far, gaining $28.99 million or 5.6 percent over 2014.
Totals over budget YTD
The positive increases in state revenues are showing a huge gain of some $516.8 million for the year. The 12-month trailing average increase in revenues has increased to 5.5 percent. When compared to the amount budgeted for fiscal year 2015, the state has collected approximately $228.7 million over the amount anticipated in the FY15 budget so far. So the state is doing very well and has much to be proud of at this juncture.
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