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Georgia's December revenues represent best all year
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Georgia’s revenues for December fulfilled the prophecy of the “Ten Reasons to be Optimistic” column and produced a break-out month showing an overall 10.0 percent gain for the month over December of last year. Revenues totaled $2.264 billion with a gain of $206.1 million.
Individual Income Taxes, the largest source of state revenues, showed an outstanding month, gaining $145.9 million or 13.1 percent for December. Within the category, Withholding Payments were up $59.4 million, Estimated Payments up a whopping $60.8 million and other categories were up a combined $33.1 million. Refunds were up $7.3 million or 21 percent.
Corporate Income Taxes showed a 13.6 percent increase. Net Sales Taxes increased 6.5 percent and Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverages taxes increased 2.6 percent and 3.1 percent respectively. Tag, Title and Fees increased 3.8 percent and Title Ad valorem Taxes/Fees decreased 12.3 percent or -$9.8 million.

Fuel excise tax and fees increase
Motor Fuel Taxes increased $2.7 million while Impact Fees decreased -$25,000 while Hotel/Motel fees increased $495,000. Altogether Funds going to Transportation increased $3.1 million.

Year to date average up to 4.1 percent
With December’s banner month, total revenues for the Fiscal Year are up $444.7 million or 4.1 percent on total revenues of $11.3 billion for exactly half of the fiscal year. Individual Income Taxes are up $319.3 million or 5.7 percent for the year and corporate tax collections are up 7.1 percent, or $29.2 million.
Net Sales Taxes are up 2.9 percent or $82.1 million. Tobacco and Alcoholic beverages taxes are up 2.0 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. Tag, Title and Fees are up $14.4 million and Title Ad valorem taxes are negative at -8.3 percent for the year

Motor fuel receipts up
Year to Date, Motor Fuel receipts are up $22.2 million while Impact fees are down $795,000 and Hotel/Motel taxes/fees are up $1.2 million for a total increase for Transportation of $22.6 million.

Over budget and building a surplus
Revenue collections after 6 months of the FY 2018 show the state is exceeding the budget needed by $185.2 million. The 12 month trailing average, a good measurement of trends, shows Georgia’s average at 4.5 percent.

How Georgia compares with other states
The 12 month trailing averages takes the current month and adds the previous 11 months to see how revenues are trending. We track other states to compare Georgia and see how we are doing.

Trailing average through December
Georgia 4.5 percent
Arkansas 0.3 percent
West Virginia 3.9 percent
Alabama 4.1 percent
Texas 7.9 percent (Reflecting gains being made in oil and gas after 3 years of reductions)

Trailing average through November
North Carolina 0.8 percent
Florida 4.1 percent
South Carolina 3.8 percent
Tennessee 4.2 percent
Mississippi 1.7 percent
Kentucky 0.2 percent
So, Georgia is holding its own against almost any state in the South. Georgia’s 4.5 percent average is very favorable. What we don’t know is where the rest of FY 2018 is headed- up or down.

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