Friday, June 10, 2016
NOTES FROM THE SENATE, JUNE 10, 2016
MAY REVENUES CONTINUE STRONG YEAR FOR STATE
Revenues totaling $1.56 billion for May complete 11 months of a very successful year for the state. Revenues grew at a strong 9.9% rate and when the new highway revenue funds are subtracted, the growth rate is still at a healthy 4.1% growth for the month. Corporate Income Taxes were negative at -10.8%.
Individual Income Taxes grew at a 4.8% clip and net Sales Taxes were positive at 4.5% growth on $462.7 million collections. Tobacco and Alcoholic Tax collections were negative at -20.3% and -2.0% respectively. Tag /Title fees were up $5.1 million and Title Ad Valorem Taxes were up $4.5 million.
Transportation tax collections continue consistent showing Motor Fuel Taxes up $56.06 million, Highway Impact Fees at $1.5 million and Hotel/Motel fees $15.08 million for a total collection of $72.6 million which includes a transfer of the 1% fuel sales taxes from the treasury to transportation.
YEAR TO DATE NUMBERS ARE IMPRESSIVE FOR GEORGIA
Georgia continues to show a strong economy that is bringing in a steady increase in collections to the state. Overall state revenues now total $18.9 billion in total tax collections with only one month to go. The increase so far exceeds $1.6 billion dollars which shows an overall increase of 9.9% increase, inclusive of new Fuel Tax Funds.
Individual Income Tax collections show an 8.5% increase for the year so far, but Corporate Income taxes are negative slightly at -0.6%. Net Sales Taxes are up slightly at 0.9% or only $44.7 million.
Tobacco taxes and Alcoholic Beverages taxes are both up, at 1.8% and 3.4% respectively. Tag/Title Fees are up 8.4% or $25.7 million and Title Ad Valorem Taxes increased $108.9 million or 14.6%.
TRANSPORTATION TAXES UP $722 MILLION
A conversion to excise taxes for gasoline along with new fees created by HB 170 has brought in some $722.7 million or about what was expected. This figure includes the transfer of an estimated $150 million in fuel sales taxes that were going to the state treasury but now go towards transportation. This figure includes $572.7 million in fuel taxes, $13.9 million in Highway Impact fees and $136.09 million in Hotel/Motel Fees.
GEORGIA WAY AHEAD OF BUDGET-- AS STRONG AS ANY STATE IN SOUTHEAST
DOR has slowed refunds as a part of its fraud detection program so the coming months may see deductions from revenue for refunds higher than the previous year, but without a doubt, the state is completing a fiscal year that will be as strong for revenue growth as any in recent years. Through May, state revenues are up $1.6 billion or 9.9% overall. This puts revenues ahead of the 2016 budget approximately $599 million. Funds over budget will lapse to the RSR or "Rainy Day Fund."
12 MONTH TRAILING AVERAGE COMPARISONS
Almost any way you measure revenue growth, Georgia is doing very well in comparison to other states. We use a 12 trailing average, where the present month is the 12th month and we look back 11 additional months. This reflects current trends and is a better snapshot of state performance. Overall, Georgia's 12-month average is up to 9.2%. Taking off the new Transportation revenues, that number still shows a 5.4% growth rate.
In comparison, through May, based on information available at press time, Alabama is up 3.8%, but Texas is down -11.2% and Louisiana is down -8.6%. Using available April numbers, North Carolina is up 8.3%, Florida is up 3.1%, South Carolina is up 6.3%, Tennessee is up 6.8% and Mississippi is at -2.7%.
So the state continues to show strong economic signs in job growth and economic activity that is reflected in tax collections.
The FY 2017 budget (H.B. 751) may be found at http://www.senate.ga.gov/sbeo/en-US/AppropriationsDocuments.aspx. As always, I welcome any questions you may have.