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Friday, December 08, 2017

NOTES FROM THE SENATE, DECEMBER 8, 2017

NOVEMBER REBOUNDS WITH 7.3% GAIN

The fifth month of the new Fiscal Year bounced back from a lackluster October with solid revenue gains in the November report. Overall, November revenues increased $124.6 million or 7.3% over November of a year ago. Altogether, the state took in $1.844 billion in November.

Individual Income Taxes, the largest category, increased $90.7 million for the month, growing 10.5%. Inside these numbers, refunds were down $7.1 million and Withholding payments, a good barometer of economic activity, were up $78 million. Income Tax payments were up $8.9 million.

SALES TAX STEADY

Net Sales Tax collections were up 1.8% on total collections of $465.8 million. Corporate Taxes were up $7.2 million on collections of $24.2 million. Corporate Refunds were down $9.2 million while estimated corporate payments were up $5 million. Title Ad Valorem Taxes declined $4.05 million or -5.1%. Title, Tag and Fees increased $1.4 million or 5.5%. Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverages collections were both up, 6.4% and 3.2 respectively.

TRANSPORTATION TAXES/ FEES

Motor Fuel Excise collections were up $3.9 million but Impact Fees were negative at -$50,000 and Hotel/Motel fees were negative $495,000 for a net increase of $3.36 million for the month.

YEAR TO DATE COLLECTIONS BACK ABOVE BUDGET

With the positive month in November, the state's revenue increase of $238.6 million now exceeds the amount budgeted for the year by $28.8 million Year to Date, the state has taken in $9.036 billion, 2.7% more than a year ago, an increase of $238.6 million. The 12 month trailing average now is 3.6%.

INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE TAXES SHOW POSITIVE GAIN

Individual Income Taxes have accounted for $4.6 billion of the states' collections so far this fiscal year for an increase of 3.9 percent or $173.4 million. Corporate taxes YTD are up 2.8%.

Net Sales taxes are up 2.2% accounting for about of the increase of $238.6 million. Title Ad Valorem Taxes are negative for the year at -7.5% while Tag, Title and Fees are up 9.4%.

Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverages collections are both up slightly at 1.8% and 0.7% respectively.

TRANSPORTATION TAXES/ FEES UP YTD

So far this fiscal year, excise taxes on fuel are up $19.5 million or 2.6%. Impact Fees are down $770,000 and Hotel/ Motel Fees are up $720,000. Altogether, there is an increase in funds going to Transportation of $19.4 million.

WHERE IS GEORGIA HEADED THIS YEAR?

That's a good question. After five months of the 2018 Fiscal Year, the state is back in the black as Georgia goes through the vitally important Christmas season. Nationally the economy seems to be growing at a better rate than earlier this year and Georgia is expected to outpace the national growth rate. As we noted last month, you don't see any danger signals in the state's economy. The 12 month trailing average of 3.6% is a pretty healthy revenue growth average.

We'll be publishing our "Ten Reasons to be Optimistic" Column here in a couple of weeks or so and will be trying to find those positive elements that will lead the state forward into 2018.

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